Seppuku was usually performed using a wakizashi (short sword) or a tantō (knife). It could take place with preparation and ritual in the privacy of one's home, or quickly with no preparation on a battlefield.
In a seppuku ritual, the samuari was bathed, dressed in white robes, and fed his favorite meal. When he finished the meal, a tanto or wakazashi was placed on his plate. The warrior would prepare for death by writing a death poem. It was usually determined in advance when the kaishakunin would make his daki-kubi, the decapitation stroke. With his kaishakunin standing by, he would open his kimono (robe), take up his blade and plunge it into his abdomen, first making a left-to-right stroke and then a second slightly upward stroke to spill out the intestines.