Traditional reasons to commit Seppuku (Medieval Japan) Hara o warra hanasu [literally "to open one's stomach and speak"]: to speak sincerely 1. To prevent being captured in battle. 2. To make amends or express apology. 3. To assume responsibility. 4. To add emphasis to advice to a superior. 5. To correct a disciple. 6. To criticize a superior or an enemy; to express hatred. By the legal code of 1536, the person thus criticized in a suicide note would be punished. 7. To follow one's lord in death. Prohibited in 645 and again in 1633, but still followed as late as 1912. Arguably followed by Mishima in 1970. 8. To follow one's husband in death. Usually a wife would not cut her belly open but rather slit her jugular vein or drown herself. Never legally prohibited. 9. To become a guardian spirit by dying inside the foundation of one's lord's new building. 10. To recieve a warrier's capital punishment. The property of such a one would not be lost to his family. 11. To retain one's honor when accused--guilty or not.