The Four Pillars of the Honor INTRODUCTION

Beforehand I want to be thankful to all those that decide to lose minutes of their valuable time being used it in the reading of the article which next I am going to publish. With respect to the article, I have wanted to title it "the FOUR PILLARS Of the HONOR" by all those things that in my opinion reflect what can mean the word honor in the Japanese culture: First by samuráis, admired by all we due to their innumerable qualities could say "chivalrous" taken until the maximum limits of the human.

Second by the conduct code that these horsemen followed, the famous Bushido.

Third by the katanas, those fabulous swords surrounded by as much symbolism and mythology.

Quarter by that ritual (to our eyes bloody) so extremely Japanese as is the Seppuku, vulgarly known like Hara-Kiri.

Although to try to concentrate to a culture so extremely complex in some articles would only demonstrate to my ignorance and lack of knowledge, but in short, I will try under my point of view to contribute that small grain of sand to that immense beach of knowledge that throughout thousand of years and innumerable generations has represented the Japanese culture, thus is that without more introductions we go there.

SAMURAI Japanese Voice that means ' guardiá. 1. In feudal, military Japan pertaining to the inferior class of the nobility who served a gentleman: samuráis has a code of very rigid honor. 2. In present, official Japan of the army. Samuráis was individual pertaining to an inferior class of the Japanese feudal nobility, constituted by the military who were to the service of the daimyos. Before century XII it only aplicábase to the soldiers of the palace of the Micado, but it did not take in occurring east name to all the military element by opposition to the popular element (heimin). Samuráis got to be famous by their discipline, its sense of the honor and its extraordinary dominion of the martial arts. In feudal Japan, the word samurai designated to a class of Japanese soldiers, specially trained of the martial arts actually, that were tie to a gentleman of the imperial cut, that used them like personal guard, function that reflected of clear way in the etimología, because the primitive term was saburai (of sabuna, ' to be to ladó), of where derived samurai, that literally it means ' guardiá. With time, this denomination was applied all to military (bushi) of certain rank who belonged to families single-breasted uniform jackets (buke), by opposition to the noble families (honke), and as of century XII she was adopted by the military government of Kamakura like official name of the Department military (Samuray-dokoro). The class of bushi - whose techniques were transmitted of parents to children and of teacher to disciple it was developed mainly in the provinces of the North of Japan, where the earth proprietors (daimyos) had to defend themselves of the attacks of ainu. They formed then powerful clans that were against, from century XII, to the noble families who turned around the imperial family of Kioto. Two of the most powerful clans were the Minamoto and the Taira, that to each other competed holding the power and, mainly, the control on the territory - something vital in a country in which less of unn quarter of the Earth is adapted for agriculture during the Heian time (794-1185). One of these feudales gentlemen, Tokugawa Ieyasu, that governed the Eastern part of Japan from its castle in Edo (the present Tokyo), was raised with the supremacy when defeating to the rest of the daimyos in the battle of Sekigahara in 1600 and three years later it adopted the title of sogún. The country was governed through a series of semiindependent daimyos, whose number ascended until almost three hundred, which they controlled his hereditary feudos by means of samuráis as well. It was known them by two names: samurai or horsemen and bushi or bujin, that was the soldiers of low class. He was during this time when the figure of these soldier-aristocrats experienced its greater height, because after the terrible domestic wars that had whipped the country became necessary to watch La Paz closely, work whom they had entrusted. The immediate consequence was a brutal clasismo between samuráis, that they had right to take to arms and last name, and plebians (retailers, craftsmen and farmers), who did not have it by very rich which they were. But it had, in addition, other changes. With La Paz, the soldiers noticed that all its military skill did not serve to them to gain the life, so many of them returned swords and lances by pens and paper was dedicated to administrative workings (it is surprising, in fact, very extended that were the alphabetization at the beginning of century XVII). In the new society peacefully of century XVII, samuráis could again cultivate the art of the sword (iaido), súmmun of the martial arts, that they had had to leave in second half of century XVI, when the Portuguese introduced mosquetes of wick. At that moment it was when the schools of martial arts like means of formation of the character began, because there were no wars in which to demonstrate the martial abilities. When Japan began its turn towards the West in 1868, those men who long ago consecrated their life to the art of war were not right to exist. Samuráis and their style of life was not prohibited, but officially abolished at the beginning of 1870. The dismantling of the class samurái was definitive when, in 1876, they lost the right to take saber and the combats between the noble families were vetoed. Most of samuráis did not know successfully to make the transition to the new era and they were lost in the anonymity. Until entered good century XX had preserved a history of more than thousand years, essence of the spirit of the Japanese town, but the new Japan demanded a change. Yet, the spiritual and ethical character remained in the mentality of the nation, to which they contributed without a doubt some novels like Musashi, films and theater works created for the theater kabuki of century XVII, many of which they were continued representing at the beginning of century XXI, which they narrate you develop them of samuráis with great realism. Characteristics of samurái the old inhabitants of Japan, yayoi, developed during centuries the arms, the armor and the code samurái. The first arms included arcs, arrows and swords, a posteriori the famous katanas. The armor was made up of a helmet for the head and protections for the chin, the chest and shoulders; with time they appeared new elements to protect the legs, because the armor changed according to introduced new techniques battle: it was fought in the beginning on foot in the ground, but when in century V they were introduced the cavalries one went to the combat to horse; also, if in the first times it were emphasized in the fight with arc, when mongoles invaded Japan at the end of century XIII, occurred priority to the sword, that allowed to a better hand-to-hand combat and to degollar soon to the enemy; later it was begun to use the lance, that could be used to strike, to cut or to ensartar; in the middle of century XVI the Portuguese firearms were introduced. The code samurái was based on its first moment in the Chinese code that established the virtues del soldier, denominated Kyuba-no Michi (the Route del horse and del arc) and that soon gave rise al bushido code (the Route del soldier), philosophy of life del spirit samurái. This one formed from the union of several religious rules, between which the veneration to the forces of the Nature was specially important that praised the sintoísmo. The aim of all soldier was to arrive at the absolute mental and physical clarity (sumi-kiri) and to be a whole with the Universe, which only obtained by means of larguísimo mental and physical training. The psychic part arrived through the meditation zen, whereas the corporal one was result of the constant training actually of the martial arts, the shot with arc, the fencing and the equitación; to these a set of behavior and label norms was added that governed all the acts of samurái. The loyalty of this one to the emperor or his gentleman (daimyo) was unquestionable. Samuráis had eliminated the sense of possession of their minds; they lived on frugal way, with absolute scorn by the material things, because it did not interest to them more than its honor and its pride. Samurái was repaid by its services with lodging and food, never with money, because in addition to mancillar to the possessor, caused in this one the preoccupation to lose it (it is more, this characteristic still subsists between many teachers of martial arts - sensei -, that distribute their teaching free). Samuráis was at the top of the Japanese estamental hierarchy. Its social position even granted to the right on the life and the death to them of whatever needed to the respect (Kirisute Gomen, literally ' to lower and abandonar'), because they were convinced that the town under would easily forget its duties for the sake of a soft life if the opportunity appeared to him to do it, reason that explains the constant monitoring that to that he was put under the peasantry on the part of samuráis. On the other hand, to punish to the delinquents without putting under them the law was a practice samurái firmly established. Samurái directed its life to be the best one in the Art of war and, like soldier who was, samurái was not scared to die. Nevertheless, the death had to take place in certain circumstances. A heroic death in, for example, a great battle, would bring the pride on its name and its family during generations, but to turn a personal offense a combat was taken like a demonstration from being able and, therefore, a cowardice. During the battle, samuráis preferred to fight with a single adversary, always of their same characteristics. Before entering into combat they invoked the name of its family, of its gentleman, its rank and its triumphs. When they had given death to its enemy cut its head and they took it like test of its triumph. The heads of the generals and the officials of superior rank were transported until the capital. If samurái were won or fact prisoner was no a way, harakiri more or ritual suicide. BUSHIDO Of jap. bushi ' samuráí and do ' way, conductá. 1. Code of honor and moral values by which the chaste Japanese military man of samuráis governed itself or members of the class single-breasted uniform jacket, implanted in Japan towards Century XII, in the heat of was feudal. In him the moral rules of Confucius were integrated, the sintoístas beliefs and the dogmas of the Zen buddhism, and was governed by three essential rules: to samurai an unconditional loyalty is demanded to him towards its gentleman and to his word and must be arranged to spill its blood without doubting it. The infidelity was the condemned with the Hara-Kiri, a forced ritual suicide. Certainty of the existence of older codes in Century X is had, but the bushido one received a special height as of Century XVIII, although it influences of confuciønistas theoreticians as Yamaga Soko and Oishi Yoshio have finished transforming it into a species of moral of nationalistic type. At the beginning of Century XX the bushido ideal was praised and impelled by the Japanese leaders. With the bushido term one designates to the code of honor and social behavior that had to observe the Japanese soldiers and noble samuráis, developed feudal time in the heat of, between the periods Heian and Tokugawa (around century XII of the Christian era), based on the principles of loyalty, sacrifice, justice, value, modestia and honor, and strongly influenced by three religions - buddhism, confucianismo and shintoísmo- and one school of thought, zen. the bushido term, that literally means ' via of guerreró, is made up of two words: bushi, that means ' guerreró, and it designated to that formed part of buke or families of tradition single-breasted uniform jacket, by opposition to honke or noble families, and the syllable - do that, as aiki-do or ju-do happens in the terms, means ' walked or ' víá. The bushido word is documented for the first time in the Japanese language in works of the centuries XVI and XVII, between which they were famous, for example, Dokukodo, whose responsibility it is attributed famous samurái Miyamoto Musashi (1584-1645), the books of Toji Mototada (1539-1600), confuciano philosopher Yamaga Soko (1622-1685) or of the disciple of this one, Daidoji Yuzan, that provides one more a detailed information of the bushido one that the one that can be in series of tests like the One hundred laws of Takeda Shingen. It is considered that the first written code is the Buke Sho-hatto (Rule of the families single-breasted uniform jackets), gathered in 1615 by order of shogun Ieyasu; later to this one it is Hagakure (Hidden under the leaves) a work on martial arts and the spirit of the bushido one, written towards 1716 by samurái Yamamoto Tsunetono. Nevertheless, some European students maintain that as much the term as their meaning is inventions of the Meiji period, been born with object to reinforce the Japanese identity, until then nonexistent. In the West, the bushido word became general from the publication, in 1905, of a work of Inazo Nitobe (1862-1933), titled indeed thus, Bushido, reason by which it was considered, erroneously, inventor of the term to this author. The bushido one, that could be defined as the Japanese chivalry, was born to happen to the Kyubano-Michi (' Via of the arc and caballó) and was destined in principle to govern the relations between the social estates that were in Japan during the seven hundred years that the shogunado one lasted: bushi (soldiers), the daimyos (feudales gentlemen, heads of clan or provinces), shogun and the people of the town (farmers, craftsmen and retailers). However, their guidelines of conduct were rooted so that, although in 1868 Meiji emperor abolished the feudalism and suppressed the class of samuráis in his attempts to lead to Japan to a new one was technological, many of the ethical principles and of conduct that establishes this norm they maintained in the social life of the Japanese society, to the end of which the bushido word has been gotten up to some western languages to designate the Japanese national spirit. Origins and influences the code of values of bushido formed from the combination of three religions - the confucianismo, the shintoísmo and the buddhism and of the thought school zen. The bushido one learned of the buddhism not to fear to the danger nor to the death, because it educated to samuráis in the belief that another Earth life exists after the death, in which will participate after his reincarnation. That level of superior conscience, in which it is possible to know itself until the absolute thing and thus to ignore the death, is reached through the meditation zen. The shintoístas doctrines gave to bushido the sense of loyalty to the ancestors and the imperial family, loyalty that caused that samuráis put their life - in their more literal sense to the service of the emperor or his daimyo (' señor'). This same loyalty, as it is logical, also determined a noticeable patriotic sense towards the Earth, which it is fed, arrived the case, with the own life, in right correspondence by the gifts that offers (very possibly the reason is this one that explains the liking of samuráis by agriculture). Finally, the confucianismo marked the five types of relations with the world of the men, the surroundings and the family: between gentleman and crew member, father and son, husband and wife, brother greater and brother small and between friend and friend, and the way in which samurái must take refuge in them. Rules of bushido the bushido one are, in himself, very strict a mental rule that covers all the aspects with the life of samuráis. It is sustained in the training and the discipline and is pronounced in three levels of masters: physicist, psychic and spiritual. He establishes a series of internal laws and a label that must fulfill these aristocrats every day soldiers of their life, cradles in concepts such as the honor and loyalty, the indifference to the pain, the sense of having and justice, desapego by the material, the absolute control of the emotions and a insobornable ethics. The aim of these basic rules era to teach samurái to live like a soldier in time of peace. Therefore, it had to be always quick for the combat, because over everything he was a soldier: or wheat was cultivating or sleeping, it had to take always his sword raises. It could not either show the own feelings, because samurái would never be pardoned to have caused the compassion of the others; to only it was allowed him to cry in case the own mother died. Desapego by the material things reached, of course, to the money, of which it thought that it soiled its possessor; samurái would not be shamed of being poor (in fact, samurái rich was rare exceptions), although yes seeming it, reason for which took care of extremely their appearance (this last aspect stays nowadays in many teachers of martial arts that gains the life by means of an office then do not receive by their teaching). But, over the previous ones, the bushido one is sustained on two basic principles. First it is that everything samurái "always must, first of all, to have present the fact that a day has to die", because the human existence and, very specially, the one of the soldier, is absolutely impermanente. Not in vain it is the fragile flower of the cherry tree - that as soon as the symbol of the life of samurái lasts hours. It would be possible to be said that the bushido one teaches the way to die, but that would be to reduce the concept to its simplista explanation. The bushido one in fact teaches samurái to imagine the scene of its death every night before sleeping; after several years of this training, the certain thing is that from the mental point of view samurái is dead, something that confers an enormous one to him to be able, because a dead man is not scared of anything.

This does not mean that it does not value his death; it is more, since to live it is to prepare itself to die, the death of samurái must be consequence of a valiant act that perpetuates its name between the coming generations. It would be a terrible misfortune for him who an arrow accidentally reached to him in the battlefield. On the other hand, samurái will choose to die before to see its discredited name (the death is not eternal, the deshonor yes), which could happen if he were erased of cowardly or if it transgressed some of the norms of the bushido one. The only form to recover the lost honor the violator was to resort to harakiri or ritual suicide. The second principle is the one of strictest loyalty and the fidelity to the dispositions of the governors of the country, the daimyos, but mainly to those of the emperor. There was a loyalty superior to the one of samurái, and was only the one of daimyo towards his subjects. Before mentioned Nitobe it defined therefore the seven virtues that must have bushi: the sense of justice and the honesty, the value and the scorn of the death, the affection towards all, the education and the respect to the label, the sincerity and the respect of the word given, absolute loyalty towards the superior ones and, finally, the defense of the honor of the name and the clan, which was transformed in having (giri), resolution (shiki), generosity (ansha), firmness of soul (fudo), magnanimity (doryo) and humanity (ninyo). All these factors did of bushido a very simple code. Nevertheless, in spite of its lack of sophistication, or indeed by this, the bushido one fed all a nation through the centuries, and civil wars, atomic pumps and invasions. Formation in bushido samurái could allow any thing, because it was at the top of the three chaste social ones, but had always right and to be considered and not to commit no abuse authority, as to exceed in the collection of taxes or the punishments. Justice was one of the maximum values of the code samurái and one of the supreme virtues. It was important to differentiate between right and unjust, since the natural tendency of the man is to follow the second way, much more placentero. The bushido one established that, in the days of peace, samuráis had to put their force to the service of the weak ones and its wisdom had to act like teacher of the ignorantes. It exists, in fact, an expression of the bushido one, "Bushi nonNasake" (whose translation would be ' tenderness of guerreró), that expresses the necessity that the strongest and braver men are also to be accessible feelings such as the compassion, the dulzura or justice towards all the beings. Samurái must have, in addition, an exquisite education and an ample knowledge of the things. Formerly the young soldiers were sent to the combat at the age of fifteen or sixteen years, so its military formation began to the twelve or thirteen years, without time to cultivate itself intellectually, which almost turned them illiterate. Later this changed and before being initiated in the race of the arms, to the seven or eight years, the children were introduced in Four Books and the art of the handwriting. When they turned fifteen years taught the shot to them with arc, the equitación, the handling of the sword, jujitsu and other military arts. Decrees of bushido decrees of the bushido one were divided in two sections: those of the officials and those of the soldiers, and these as well contemplate those of the army on the one hand, and those of the battle subjects on the other hand. The officials had the obligation to be always clean, to the hands and the feet had to be washed in the morning and at night, and to bathe daily. They also had to fix to the hair every day and to take completely shaved the superior part of the forehead. They always had to take to the suitable ceremonial clothes it occasion and to carry his two swords (daisho) and the fan (gumpai) in his belt. All their acts - as much in time of war peace as were governed by a rigorous label, from receiving a friend, taking to a tea cup or an earthen bowl of rice, and to even sleep, because the toes did not have to never lay for the direction in which was his gentleman. They did not have either to be never unemployed people, therefore, if they were out of service used his time in the study of history, they zen, the art to prepare the tea, the painting, the stature of statues or the practice of the handwriting, useful disciplines to perfect the dominion of the sword. However, samuráis did not think like Confucius in which the man only reaches the perfection only by means of the intellectual development, the reading or the composition of poems; before on the contrary, it was necessary to insist on the training in the military discipline that it avoided to commit errors or being taken by surprise. The soldiers, on the other hand, had to know all the referring one to the military art, the use of the lance, the shot with arc and crossbow and the exercise to make fences. An inspector of the army had to know it everything on how to act according to the number of enemies or which was the best place to establish a camping. The battle subjects talked about the way to direct the army when it enters battle and how to lead it to the victory, which took prepared the knowledge of the arts of logistic, strategy, communications and intelligence, although not technical them battle hand-to-hand. The bushido one at the present time During the chaotic internal fights of centuries XV and XVI, the military ethics was distorted somewhat. It arrived a little while in that whatever it brandished a sword could be considered samurái if its technical one were the sufficiently good thing, to the margin of which dominated or not the internal meaning of the bushido one (' it walked). Of the Meiij Restoration, when already the time of samuráis had happened and the changes in Japan followed one another, patent took control that was to establish a new Way that medulara the force of the Japanese nation. With World War II a new type from samurái, conditional arose to look for its Way in the middle of the increasing modernization of the country and to look for another type of Sir to whom to offer its services. The great companies (zaibatsu), been born to the heat of industrialization occupied well this position, because they carried out plus the paper of a family who of a company, which generated a loyalty feeling - germ of old bushido- towards the heads unshakeable, feeling that lasts in our days. Also it happens to the inverse one: to be unjust or to commit error with subordinates carries deshonor more absolute on the one than it does and on his company, because the Japanese of our days grant the same character to the businesses that their grandparents gave the war and, of underlying form to the appearances, all combat is a sacred combat. KATANA the katana is the saber battle of samuráis, to which they considered like his own soul. In the katana the spirit of samurái resided, that guarantor did of his own integrity, which does not let be paradoxical in a world in which samurái had to be able on the life of other men. Samurái took care of its katana almost more than to itself, it gave a name him and it never allowed that it returned to its dirty case of blood, which it would cause rust spots to him and it rusts. On the other hand, the act to pull out of a scabbard carefully measured era, because once the sword was outside its cover the tradition demanded to stain it of blood. Clear exponent of the importance of this action is that it gave origin to a martial art, the iaido one. Very ilustrativos of which it was the relation that samurái had to establish with its weapon are the following verses of the teacher Ueshiba Morihei, founder of the aikido one: "Clear like the crystal, acute and shining, the sagrada sword does not admit site to lodge badly". The austere katana was at a first moment a strong sword of iron concerned of the Korean peninsula or of China, but with time, towards century IX, it went purifying in a slighter and sharpened saber. The Japanese sword is made up of leaf and grip (tsuka) and sometimes took a guard (tsuba) beautifully decorated in gold and silver. The leaf was done of iron combined with carbon and had a steel nucleus softer than it conferred an unusual flexibility to him; one was made up of edge, end, later part and shinogi (a longitudinal acanalamiento located between the edge and the later part), parts these that had different functions in the combat. Considered the one of the three symbolic treasures of the country (the other two are a mirror and a jewel), katana it had sacred character, because shinto by a priest dressed target had been forged in front of an altar - to symbolize the purification that was imbuido of a knowledge divine and attended by the spirits (kami in Japanese). After the purifying rites that clarify their mind, the forjador began its work, for which it used fire, water, an anvil and a hammer. The iron ingot primigenio was divided in two and in him they were inserted metal pieces of different hardness. This mixture was fought to make it homogenous and soon the form, more or less curved occurred him. The leaf was warmed up to red the several times and it tempered in water with salt, whereas the edge (only one), whose tempering was different, was protected with clay. Later, the leaf took to the polisher and, finally, it was necessary to verify if well it were sharpened, which was made until death in the body of the condemned, first in the small bones and soon in the great ones. The result of this test was written in nakago, a small piece that united the grip with the leaf. The secrets of this sacred science cuasi were transmitted of parents to children and constituted part of the mystery of the extraordinary quality of these arms. Edicto of Hideyoshi granted to samuráis the right to take two swords, the set from which received the name of daisho (' great and pequeñá) and was a symbol of the social position and the combatant spirit of samurái. The leaf of the long, katana sword or daito, measured more than 61 cm, whereas the one of the short saber, wakizashi or shoto varied between the 31 and the 61 cm. took hanging of the one of obi (belt), always with the sharp side upwards. When samurái entered house of some friend, it had to undress of his katana, that it placed on a special support (katana-kake), but could conserve his wakizashi; in the presence of the emperor or shogun it had to undress of the two swords and to leave them to the entrance of the room of hearings. The children of bushi also took a species of smaller katana, mamorigatana call (' saber of protección'). The women of bushi or samuráis took a small dagger without guard, denominated kaiken, who could be hidden easily between you fold them of kimono. She served to defend themselves to them and, in extreme cases, to open the throat and to commit suicide. HARAKIRI Or SEPPUKU Of jap. colloquial hara-kiri, term formed by hara ' estómagó and kiri ' I cut. Thus the Japanese sagrada ceremony is designated, reserved to the class of samuráis, in which these committed suicide by destripamiento during the feudal stage. The expression hara-kiri (literally ' to open vientré), is considered vulgar, the correct term is seppuku. Origins the origin of seppuku dates from the Heian period, approximately towards year 1,000 a.C. The name of the first man has not been conserved who did it but that he was suspicious of to have disobeyed the emperor. Known that one of the basic principles of the bushido code was absolute loyalty to the mikado one, the one that outside guilty of to have committed the crime did not concern too much; the single fact that it was suspected him was sufficient to carry the deshonor on its name and its family during generations, something that only the death could remedy. Therefore, to prove his innocence, one killed days before the judgment with his own hands. During the Edo stage, seppuku was one of the official orders of execution. Any nobleman who received an official notice of the emperor insisting to him to do it, was forced to commit seppuku; in opposite case the deshonor would persecute to him to him and his family during generations. The official notice was accompanied rich generally by a dagger (they kaiken) adorned that it had to be given back to the stained imperial house of blood, in test that the order had been executed. Doubt treats, does not fit, of a painful system of suicide, still more if it considers that exists many other forms to occur death, such as the poison, the hanging or the cut of the veins of the wrist, which they allow to do it without pain. Nevertheless, the one that the chosen method was this one resides in the Japanese conception of the beauty, great part of which it is in the capacity to support the pain. Seppuku was an average one to prove the purity of heart and soul of samuráis (part of the training of samurái was to know how and when to take the great step of seppuku), because authentic samurái feared plus the deshonor and the shame that that one took with himself that to the own death. By another part, from remote times the Japanese thought that the soul as much as the human spirit belly, denominated hara, located to an a was in a point del two fingers del navel, between this one and the spine, in which the ki is concentrated (the vital energy), of there that outside this one the chosen point to end the life. Ritual seppuku was a ceremonial imbuído funeral of a sacred character, reason by which the chosen place very important era. Often, it was carried out in the temples - although not in the sanctuaries shinto -, but also it could be in the gardens of the houses and inside these. The dimensions of the area came given by the rank from samurái. The act was carried out of a very meticulous form and was governed by a rigorous label. In order to begin, samurái that was going to commit seppuku - thing that already it had determined had to write a goodbye poem, which explains that always paper and pen were supplied of; on the other hand, it had at least been ayunando from the day before, with the purpose of was not anything contained in his stomach that could be scattered by tatami when the belly was cut. It had to count in addition, with the presence of kaishakunin, a companion or assistant, who cut of a edge the head of the suicidal one and ended the procedure of clean way. Next, samurái, dressed target completely - the color of the purification seated on one esterilla (tatami) or estrado also covered of a white fabric, On guard of rest (seiza), with the right back, the straight head and the hands on the knees, to meditate and to make the total emptiness in its spirit. Before it was the weapon whereupon death, wakizashi was going to occur, the shortest sword of the two that carried samuráis - the other was the katana. The following era to undress the body until the waist and to insert the dagger in the abdomen to come to the cut, which, unlike which popularly it thinks, did not imply the complete perforation of the abdomen. It could be in horizontal, but the current era to make it in sense diagonal, being begun crack from the left inferior end for soon, very slowly, cross the abdomen towards the right and, when arriving at the average part from this one, ascending smoothly upwards, and finally downwards, moment at which kaishakunin beheaded to samurái. The spouses of bushi or samuráis committed suicide with a small dagger without guard, denominated kaiken, with whom they opened to the throat in the artery carotid. A symbolic form of seppuku also existed in which a wood sword was used and it was not necessary to cut the abdomen. The reasons that lead to seppuku were of several types: it could happen that daimyo (' señor') of samurái had done it, sufficient reason so that his servant followed to him in the death, only form to repay the debt of loyalty contracted with him, good samurái would feel shame to live more time than his gentleman. A ilustrativo case was the one of the general Nogi Maresuke and his woman, who took off the life after the death of Meiji emperor in 1912, when the voluntary suicide had been abolished. Also, samurái practiced seppuku if it were affected by a serious disease and it were evident that it was going to die, like protest before an injustice or to show its disagreement with a decision that considered unsuitable. Also samurái could happen that outside captured by the enemy in the battlefield and preferred to kill itself before to be a prisoner military, frequent case during the Russian-Japanese conflict (1904-05) or World War II, but also he was very current that the commander negotiated with his seppuku to save the lives of his soldiers. At the present time, and although the suicide something deplorable in Japan is not considered, does not have either the negative connotations that it has in the western world. The Japanese still commit suicide by a bad gust of wind in the businesses, by loving problems or to have even suspended the scholastic examinations, then, in the purest line of the old tradition, the death is considered better than the deshonor. Worthy of mention it is the case of the writer Yukio Mishima, who committed suicide according to this ritual in 1970, the morning in which concluded its last book, to rebel itself against a society that considered sunk in the deepest moral and spiritual emptiness. Another famous case is the one that the Japanese epic titled the forty reflects and seven ronin of Ako, written in the century XVII, whose permanence in the time is shaped in the numerous films, plays and adaptations that it has generated. The events that in her are narrated took place in 1701, when Asano, Mr. of Ako, were of visit in the cut of shogun, and insulted by a high dignitary, hurt to this one in an arm. This was considered by shogun as one burdens lack against a the label, so seppuku ordered to Asano to become. With this, the honor of Asano and its family it was out of danger, but forty and seven of their vasallos faithfuls, now turned ronin (that is to say, samuráis without Sir), solved by their account to wash with blood the honor of their master. During two years they waited patiently until, finally, the night of the 14 of December of 1702, they entered gave death to the cortesano. The emperor ordered then seppuku collective, which did to the dawn of the 4 of February of 1703, on the tomb of Asano. The whole town, that considered east act a supreme test of loyalty and value, acclaimed like martyrs and heroes, and their figures happened to symbolize the pure spirit of samurái and his qualities, loyalty, value and honor. Material yielded gentily by Mr. Pedro Adolph Rodriguez Diaz