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Avoiding Hara-Kiri

A reputation for a thousand years may depend upon the conduct of a single moment.

—Ernest Bramah

In one of the final scenes in the 1993 murder mystery film, Rising Sun, a police inspector stands in a Japanese corporate boardroom at the top floor of a towering office building. In front of the entire board, he prepares to accuse one member of criminal culpability. With tension rising, fellow board members begin to distance themselves physically from the soon-to-be-accused. Taking the cultural cue, the executive takes the honorable route and leaps out of a window, mercifully ending the crisis for all.

In an example of real life ...

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