Author Topic: Beheading with a sword in early 1900s Asia  (Read 38960 times)

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Beheading with a sword in early 1900s Asia
« on: January 21, 2012, 12:23:04 PM »

In traditional China decapitation was considered a more severe form of punishment than strangulation although strangulation caused more prolonged suffering.
This was because in Confucian tradition bodies were gifts from their parents, and so it was therefore disrespectful to their ancestors to return their bodies to the grave dismembered.

In Japan, decapitation was a common punishment, sometimes for minor offences.
Samurai were often allowed to decapitate soldiers who had fled from battle, as it was considered cowardly.
Decapitation was historically performed as the second step in seppuku (ritual suicide by disembowelment).
After the victim had sliced his own abdomen open, another warrior would strike his head off from behind with a katana to hasten death and to reduce the suffering.
The blow was expected to be precise enough to leave intact a small strip of skin at the front of the neck�to spare invited and honored guests the indelicacy of witnessing a severed head rolling about, or towards them; such an event would have been considered inelegant and in bad taste.
The sword was expected to be used upon the slightest sign that the practitioner might yield to pain and cry out�avoiding dishonor to him and to all partaking in the privilege of observing an honorable demise.
As skill was involved, only the most trusted warrior was honored enough to take part.
In the late Sengoku period, decapitation was performed as soon as the person chosen to carry out seppuku had made the slightest wound to his abdomen.
Decapitation (without seppuku) was also considered very severe and degrading form of punishment.

« Last Edit: December 04, 2018, 08:47:39 PM by Ironchef »