Hattori Hanzo in Kill Bill says that despite he made a blood oath to never make another sword, he would make one for the Bride because of the goal she has.

When he later hands over the sword, he is wearing what can be seen as some sort of ceremonial garnments. They look to me quite close to clothing I've seen in some other movies on Japanese people that were preparing to commit suicide in a traditional way.

Is it implied in Kill Bill that Hattori Hanzo commits suicide (because he has broken his oath) when the Bride leaves?

2 Answers 2


I don't think it's implied that he commits suicide, in any way.

While I'm no expert about traditional Japanese clothing, I think that the garments he wears are typical for the ceremony of the sword and not for suicide.

Also, he doesn't "simply break" his oath. He chooses to make an exception because his honor tells him to. Basically, Bill is Hanzo's former student, and since Bill betrayed his teachings by becoming a contract killer, Hanzo is "forced" to punish him for that, by making and giving The Bride a sword, in order to "fix" the situation. Check the dialogue:

        HANZO       (JAPANESE)
I am retired.

        THE BRIDE       (ENGLISH)
Then give me one of these.

        HANZO       (ENGLISH)
These are not for sale.

        THE BRIDE       (ENGLISH)
I didn't say, sell me. I said, give

        HANZO       (ENGLISH)
And why should I be obliged to
assist you in the extermination of
your vermin?

        THE BRIDE       (ENGLISH)
Because my vermin, is a former
student of yours. And considering
the student, I'd say you had a
rather large obligation.

Hattori Hanzo goes to a dusty window, and writes the name,
"BILL" on it with his finger.

The blonde girl nods her head yes.

She says "Because my vermin, is a former student of yours. And considering the student, I'd say you had a rather large obligation." It's a matter of honor, he's doing this for honor. Committing suicide would "make sense" (in that context) if there was dishonor. Hara kiri is done when you have dishonor and only by committing suicide you'll regain it. It's not the case of Hanzo.

If you prefer I can look for a more clear source, but I think this really makes a point.

  • 2
    I like all of this except the use of "hara kiri", which is probably not ideal: it means "belly cutting", and is considered very base, and not generally used. "Seppuku" is the more traditional term and is probably more correct. </pedantry>
    – Beska
    Nov 27, 2012 at 13:58
  • Well, I was commenting on the level of formality, and it's definitely a debatable point. I definitely wasn't "disagreeing" per se (looking back I see I gave you +1). Just think the more respectful "seppuku" would be the better term for Hanzo.
    – Beska
    Dec 15, 2015 at 13:21
  • @Beska Sorry, kinda have slow internet here. I can repost the comment, though. So that the exchange makes more sense. :D
    – Alenanno
    Dec 15, 2015 at 13:23
  • @Beska Not sure why I didn't answer earlier but, being a bit more pedantic :P, both Harakiri (腹切, or 腹切り) and Seppuku (切腹) use the same two Kanji, albeit with the inverted order. Both mean "belly cutting", the only difference I think being formality or similar, so unless that's your point of disagreement, the "correctness" is debatable. Also it looks like one is more used abroad and the other more in Japan, so I see your point. I'll consult with some native Japanese speakers, so in case I can fix my answer.
    – Alenanno
    Dec 15, 2015 at 13:28

I don't think that can be inferred from the scene.

I do remember what you are talking about, and I was taken aback by the staging of the scene. In Japan, white is the color of death. There are only 3 conditions in which a person is clothed in white: (1) they are a corpse, (2) it is a bride (symbolizing her death as her father's child), and (3) a person about to be executed or commit ritual suicide.

However, in the scene it is not just Hanzo who is dressed in white, but Beatrix as well, and obviously she does not commit suicide since we see more of her in future scenes. Therefore, I think that the decisions on costuming were made without a clear understanding of the way white symbolism works in Japan.

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