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see hara-kirihara-kiri
[Jap.,=belly-cutting], the traditional Japanese form of honorable suicide, also known by its Chinese equivalent, seppuku. It was practiced by the Japanese feudal warrior class in order to avoid falling into enemy hands.
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What I just recently discovered is that also during that time, he adapted Chester Himes' writings as an ongoing cartoon series for a legendary French satirical magazine, Harikiri. Melvin also began writing French language novels.