William Shinji Takeyama 's An Honorable Death Essay

William Shinji Takeyama 's An Honorable Death Essay

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To Be Heroic
Seppuku was first developed in the 12th century as a means for samurai and soldiers to achieve an honorable death (Andrews). Lieutenant Shinji Takeyama is more heroic than his wife Reiko. Shinji’s internal conflict is between taking orders to kill his fellow troops and disobeying the orders from his superior officer. Shinji devotes his life to the Imperial Forces, and is willing to sacrifice his life for them. He struggles with his own personal morals in deciding in what he should do with his conflict. His bravery to go through with the ceremonialist act demonstrates that his actions speak louder than words. Committing suicide is the most honorable way to die.
There is no doubt that Shinji is a loyal countryman. He joined the military and became a Lieutenant for the Imperial Force. The day of the first gunfire, the Lieutenant is woken up by the mustering alarm. He quickly dons his uniform and scampers to the streets without even speaking a word to his beautiful new wife Reiko. As Shinji returns, his wife describes him as almost unrecognizable, wasted and thin. She knew he had experienced something that had changed him; his high spirts were gone. As he describes the encounter he had just experienced he quotes “I knew nothing. They hadn’t asked me to join. Perhaps out of consideration…” His colleagues did not ask him to join for multiple reasons. The first reason was because he was newly married. The second reason was because he was in charge of the Konoe Transport Battalion. Being in charge of a battalion showed his colleagues that his allegiance to his country is stronger than anyone can come between. Lastly, in his farewell note he writes “Long live the Imperial Force”. This shows his dedication towards his cou...


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...with honor was on his mind.
To be heroic is to be a person that is willing to sacrifice all they have without any benefit. To save or show others that you will do what you personally believe is right and true. As per Merriam-Webster the definition of heroic is: exhibiting or marked by courage and daring, supremely noble or self-sacrificing (Heroic). Throughout his story he has shown why he is heroic from becoming dedicated to his country, to never faulting to his personal beliefs, and his actions to carry out his plan. Committing suicide was considered an act of extreme bravery and self-sacrifice that embodied Bushido, the ancient warrior code of the samurai (Andrews). Committing suicide also functioned as a means of protest and a way of expressing grief over the death of a revered leader (Andrews). This is why Lieutenant Takeyama is more heroic than his wife Reiko.

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