Samurai Sword Expert Disembowels Himself In Japanese Suicide Ritual

He took his own life in the ancient act of seppuku.

By Sowmya Krishnamurthy

A samurai sword expert killed himself by literally falling on his own sword. According to Metro UK, 51-year-old Alun Jones of the United Kingdom was found by his mother lying on top of his sword after gutting himself in an ancient samurai ritual called seppuku.

He died of lacerations to the heart and liver. The court heard details about the June 29 incident this week.

"He had a collection of samurai swords which he sent to a specialist in London and had been returned days before he was found dead," said the senior coroner, David Bowen.

The New York Post reported that Jones was a sword expert. He worked at a sword store and owned a collection of samurai swords. He lived in Japan, but had also spent time in India, Japan and Australia.

His sister, Marianne Caulfield, explained that while recently visiting family in the UK, Jones had become withdrawn and fascinated by samurai culture. He “spent most of his time in his bedroom. He had a collection of samurai swords and had developed an interest in the samurai tradition." Jones was “not his usual self” and had lost weight, according to his sister.

As Metro UK explained, seppuku (also known as harakiri) is a ritual suicide by disembowelment with a samurai sword. It is perceived as an act of honor that originated in the 12th century and traditionally included a ceremony.

As shares, the victim often drank sake and composed a short “death poem" prior to demise. This form of death was seen as better than surrendering to an enemy or atoning for a shameful act. The practice became less popular in the 19th century.

The cause of death for Jones was ruled as suicide, according to the South Wales Argus.

[Photo: Getty Images]

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