Jigai was the equivalent of seppuku for non-samurai-ko women, often committed by cutting the jugular vein with a tanto. [1] The Kaiken, a long, slim aiguchi, was the preferred weapon used for performing jigai, however Crab women often used a Naginata to behead themselves instead. [2] Before commiting jigai, a woman would often tie her ankles together so that her body would be found in a demure pose despite the convulsions of death as well as to stop herself from thrashing around and causeing herself shame. [citation needed]

Children Edit

A male child who had not yet passed his gempukku was also allowed to kill himself through jigai and little girls were taught jigai from their early years. It was not unusual, when a fortress was failing, that not only women but also children of both sexes between age 3 and 14 killed themselves through jigai, cutting their main veins or pushing the tanto or kaiken into their hearts. Such suicides were sometimes committed en masse to avoid being captured, displaced or dishonored. [citation needed]

Amaterasu Edit

The most well known jigai was commited by the Sun herself, Amaterasu, in protest her husband, Onnotangu's death. This led to the Twenty-Seven Days of Darkness. [3]


  1. Winter Court: Kyuden Seppun, p. 52
  2. Bearers of Jade, p. 55
  3. Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, p. 23

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