Seppuku, stomach-cutting, is a form of Japanese ritual suicide by disembowelment. Seppuku was originally reserved only for samurai. Part of the samurai bushido honor code, seppuku was used voluntarily by samurai to die with honor rather than fall into the hands of their enemies, and likely suffer torture, as a form of capital punishment for samurai who had committed serious offenses, or performed for other reasons that had brought shame to them. T
he ceremonial disembowelment, which is usually part of a more elaborate ritual and performed in front of spectators, consists of plunging a short blade, traditionally a tanto, into the abdomen and moving the blade from left to right in a slicing motion.