There's a saying in English "Death before Dishonor"

Which means : To die before dishonoring what ever holds great value/ You will die before going against anything that you believe in or die before you sell out/ To die before you dishonor your gang or hood

Its also a name of a band.

The questions is... what is the best kanji to represent this English saying of "Death before Dishonor" ?

Thanks in advance :)

1 Answer 1


It's 玉砕{ぎょくさい}. It's literal meaning is to shatter like a pearl, and the real meaning is to die rather than to surrender (= Death before Dishonor). This was the word often used to indicate the Japanese army has annihilated (instead of being taken captive) at Pacific war.

I also found more about 玉砕 on Wikipedia...

The origin of this word is from this Chinese writing:

A great man should die with a good grace - rather than surviving like an intact tile, you should die like a shattered pearl.

Sidenote: So... what is the antonym?
It's 瓦全{がぜん}.

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