“Hara” means the abdomen and “kiri” means cutting.
Briefly speaking, the “Harakiri” is a ritual suicide by disembowelment.
To tell the truth, there were various situations to execute Harakiri.
In some cases, it was executed as a punishment. In this case, samurais were obliged to execute because of the unpardonable fault they had committed.
But in many cases, they executed it by his own will. Sometimes, it was for repentance and sometimes, it was to testify their innocence.
In any case, why by disembowelment?
Because they believed that the abdomen is the seat of the soul and affections.
“I will open the abdomen and show you how it fares with it. See for yourself whether it is polluted or clean”.
It was the mentality of Samurai.of Harakiri.