Honor was of utmost importance to the samurai. If they in any way failed to protect their master, family or community, they were expected to restore honor by committing a ritualized form of suicide known as seppuku. The samurai would wear his traditional samurai clothing and be presented with a ritual knife wrapped in paper. He was expected to slice open his stomach from left to right, and then upward. A second samurai, the Kashaku-nin, would stand behind him and behead him immediately afterward. In the early years of the samurai, the beheading would occur only after the seppuku was completed. Later on, the Kashaku-nin would perform the beheading as soon as the samurai touched the ritual knife so as to spare him the pain of the disembowelment.
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