Cio Cio San (person)
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|Ciò-Ciò-San (pronounced with cho- as in choke) is the heroine of Puccini's opera Madama Butterfly. She, the Butterfly of the title, is the young Japanese girl who falls in love with the imposing and faithless gaijin from the American navy, Lieutenant Pinkerton. (The opera is set in the nineteenth century after Meiji and Perry had opened up Japan to the West.)
He sails off and she, with their new baby Sorrow, faithfully awaits his return. When he does, however, three years later, he has a new European wife, Kate. Ciò-Ciò-San tops herself after singing a suitably moving farewell (Piccolo iddio!), using the seppuku dagger that her father had also used. Its inscription is Con onor muore, chi non può servar vita con onore: To die with honour, who can no longer live with honour.