A 51-year-old samurai sword expert was found dead in his bedroom after committing the act of seppuku - a Japanese form of ritual suicide based around disembowelment using one of the deadly weapons.

Alun Jones was discovered by his mother lying on top of his sword with his arms above his head. He had recently returned from Japan - where he sold samurai swords - and was visiting family in Newport, South Wales.

Metro reported that an inquest into his death was told that he hadn't been 'his usual self' during his trip back home.

According to his sister, Marianne Caulfield, the difference in Mr Jones' behaviour was incredibly noticeable on this visit.

Credit: Wales News Service

"For many years he had lived abroad," she said, "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."

In details revealed at the inquest, he had apparently sent the samurai swords to an expert in London for work to be done on them, and took his own life soon after receiving them back.

Credit: Wales News Service

A few hours before his body was found, a neighbour said he saw Mr Jones asleep on a sofa with an open book of family photos in his possession.

Mr Jones died, the inquest heard, from lacerations to the heart and liver after stabbing himself in the stomach.

"He had a collection of samurai swords which he sent to a specialist in London," said Gwent senior coroner David Bowen, "and had been returned days before he was found dead.

Credit: Wales News Service

"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 harakiri. In this country it is suicide."

Also known as harakiri, the first ever act of seppuku was apparently performed by Minamoto no Yorimasa during the Battle of Uji in 1180. The literal translation of harakiri is 'cutting the stomach'.

Words: Mischa Pearlman

Featured Image Credit: Wales News Service

Stewart Perrie

Stewart Perrie is a Trending Journalist at LADbible. His first job was as a newsreader and journalist at the award winning Sydney radio station, Macquarie Radio. He was solely responsible for the content broadcast on multiple stations across Australia when the MH17, Germanwings and AirAsia disasters unfolded. Stewart has covered the conflict in Syria for LADbible, interviewing a doctor on the front line, and has contributed to the hugely successful UOKM8 campaign.

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