Alun Jones
File pic: Divorcee Alun Jones, 51, from Newport, South Wales, bled to death on his bedroom floor after committing hara-kiri when he returned from a trip to Japan. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao

A British samurai sword expert killed himself with his own weapon by performing hara-kiri, an ancient ritualistic suicide tradition used by Japanese warriors.

The death of divorcee Alun Jones has been ruled a suicide, after a coroners court heard that he fell on his samurai sword in Newport, Gwent, South Wales, on 29 June this year.

The 51-year-old was an avid collector of samurai paraphernalia and had just returned from a trip to Japan when he was found dead on the floor of his bedroom in his mother's home in Rogerstone.

The inquest, at Newport Coroner's Court heard that Jones died from lacerations to the heart and liver after being found in the early hours of the morning.

Jones had collected samurai swords for many years and was working in a samurai sword shop in Japan.

The court heard that he often travelled back to Wales for holidays, but was not his "usual self" the last time he returned.

His sister Marianne Caulfield told the inquest according to the Mail Online: "For many years he had lived abroad and when he came home he would go out visiting friends.

"But this time he had lost weight and spent most of his time in his bedroom. He had a collection of samurai swords and had developed an interest in the samurai tradition."

A few hours before he died Jones was seen by a neighbour, asleep on a sofa with an open book of family photos next to him.

He was found dead by his mother, Margaret, lying on top of the sword with his arms above his head, reported the South Wales Argus.

The act of 'hara-kiri' was performed by samurai warriors as early as the 12<sup>th century as a way of fighters avoiding capture or bringing shame on themselves after losing a battle.

Det Con Rhys Williams told the hearing that Jones fell forward on a mattress on the bedroom floor, stabbing himself in the stomach leaving the sword protruding from his body, reported the Mirror Online.

Senior coroner David Bowen said: "He was found with the samurai sword underneath his body and I am satisfied it was self-inflicted. In Japan the samurai tradition is called hara-kiri. In this country, it is suicide."

A suicide verdict was recorded.

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