Samurai is a common term for a warrior in pre-industrial Japan. Most samurai were bound by a strict code of honor (bushido) and were expected to set an example for those below them. A disgraced samurai could regain honor and respect by committing suicide by a gruesome and painful means: stabbing himself in the stomach with his own sword, an act called seppuku. When time was available, samurai would have a friend or student, called a kaishaku (executioner), decapitate them after the initial cut across the abdomen. Even in death, samurai were beholden to honor. Samurai were usually loyal to their immediate superiors, who in turn allied themselves with higher lords.