A 51-year-old expert in Samurai swords, Alun Jones, hadn’t been himself since he had come home from a recent trip to Japan, his sister said. Shortly after his arrival, he took his own life with one of his prized possessions.
Jones' mom, Margaret Jones, told reporters that she found him lying on top of his sword. Because of the fall into his weapon, his arms were above his head when she found him.
He had just returned from a trip to Japan, where he goes to sell samurai swords. While visiting his mom in Newport, South Wales, however, sister Marianne Caulfield said that he had not been “his usual self.”
“For many years he had lived abroad, and when he came home, he would go out visiting friends,” Caulfield said. “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.”
According to Japanese tradition, the death by disembowelment known as seppuku is honorable, as it prevents the samurai from falling into the hands of the enemy. Individuals may also make use of seppuku in case they bring shame upon themselves.
While it’s understandable that a person who’s passionate about samurai culture and traditions would be interested in knowing everything there is to it, it’s still unclear whether Jones truly had a reason to commit suicide.
Just hours before he took his life, a neighbor saw him lying on a couch asleep with a photo book right next to him. And just a few days before his suicide, Senior Coroner David Bowen said, he had received his collection of samurai swords after they had been sent to a specialist in London.
“He was found with the samurai sword underneath his body, and I am satisfied it was self inflicted,” Bowen explained. “In Japan, the samurai tradition is called hara kiri. In this country it is suicide.”
Although his death appears to be sudden, it’s clear that even in his darkest moments, he took his commitment to live and die by the sword very seriously.
Banner/Thumbnail : Flickr, Mika Alatalo