• Hara-kiri (Japanese for belly-cutting) is the standard spelling of the word denoting the Japanese method of suicide involving disembowelment, usually self-inflicted, with a sword. Harakiri and harikari are accepted secondary spellings, but hara-kiri is the usual one.



    Hara-kiri is also known as seppuku. There are some subtle historical differences between the words (seppuku is formal, and hara-kiri is slang), but in English they are synonyms.

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