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Kiri sute gomen (斬り捨て御免 or 切り捨て御免: literally, "authorization to cut and leave" (the body of the victim) is an old Japanese expression dating back to the feudal era right to execute and be excused. Samurai had the right to strike at anyone of a lower class who was compromising their honour.

The expression is still sometimes used in modern day as "I apologise in advance for this one" for the subtle humour in offering what amounts to an unsympathetic apology.

Cultural references

It is used in the James Bond film You Only Live Twice, where the villain Blofeld asks of Bond: "Have you ever heard the Japanese expression kirisute gomen?", who replies with: "Spare me the Lafcadio Hearn, Blofeld."

It also the title of a song from Trivium's fourth studio album Shogun.

References

John Pierre Mertz, "Tokugawa Cultural Chronology", (version 2008.01.30; www4.ncsu.edu/~fljpm), page 2. Retrieved on 2008-08-16.

See also

ro:Kirisute gomen

fi:Kiri sute gomen zh:切捨禦免

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