September - July, 2012


Around 40 percent of ceremonial events in Japan to mark the 40th anniversary of the normalization of ties with China have been canceled or postponed due to Senkaku Islands issues. More than half of those events were canceled at China's request. I donft know how its conflict over Senkaku Islands would go. But Ifm sure that both countries must get to the negotiating table and listen to the other side's opinion. (Atsushi)


Hip-hop dance are ever more Japanese among children and young people. There have been commercial lessons offered and hip-hop competitions held around the country. Many people love dance for different reason. For example, learning hip-hop dance makes someonefs character change In other words, someone who are shy tend to be more aggressive have more confidence. Those Japanese hip-hop dance cultures were already born like decades ago. But recently, much more people love to learn dance. Personally I am excited to see how those cultures are going to develop in the future. (Atsushi)


Can you believe that the half of September is already gone? Cool weather makes us feel that Autumn is already here. It is really comfortable to live right now. Therefore, if you are thinking of coming to Japan, now is the best time to visit!! (Atsushi)


How was your weekend? Can you believe that the half of September is already gone? Autumn is already here. Its getting cool, but sometimes hot outside. So if you are thinking of visiting Japan, I recommend that you bring clothes both for summer and winter!!(Atsushi)


August was a month of the effects of which were accelerated by the setsuden (energy-conserving) mood. Many of us walked through the streets under a blazing sun, clutching a towel in one hand and a water bottle in the other. That effort was originally born after the big earthquake in Fukushima in March 11. Now that mood is already over because summer is gone and the season is heading toward autumn. But we know that we should not take it for granted that we always have access to much energy that brings us urban life


International tensions are happening between Japan and China. Those tensions already turned in to violence. Chinese protests grew against Japan's nationalization of the Senkaku Islands. Many Japanese factories found in China are engulfed in flame. Those violence are fanning the flame of hatred between Japan and China. Japanese enterprises in China have hired many local employees and contributed to local tax revenues. However those violence means that they broke their work and revenue by themselves. I would like them to reconsider before they cause violence. (Atsushi)


Nigatsu-do Hall at Todaiji Temple in the city of Nara will hold an annual Jushichi-ya Bon dance Monday, during which ancestors are remembered and celebrated. A ceremony will take place starting at 6 p.m. in the hall, followed from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. by a traditional dance session in which everybody is welcome to join in. The temple is a 20-minute walk from Kintetsu Nara Station. If you live in Nara or Kansai region, why donft you join and do traditional dance??(Atsushi)


The Kyoto International Manga Anime Fair 2012 will be held Sept. 22 and 23. You can visit booths set up by various publishing companies, as well as enjoy performances on stage. The fair will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 22 and from 9 a.m. through 3 p.m. the following day. So if you are interested in Manga or s big fan of Manga, visiting this fair would be a wonderful time!! (Atsushi)


How was your weekend? It is getting cool, but still humid and hot here in Japan. But to me, it is really comfortable to live right now because as I said above, it is neither hot nor cold. Therefore, if you are thinking of coming to Japan, now is the best time to visit!! (Atsushi)


International tensions are being caused between Japan and Korea. long-running territorial dispute over the island of Takeshima (referred to as Dokdo in Korean). Japanese fans of Korean pop culture regard politics as being "apart from the arts," and "have no intention of giving up being a fan. But except those eager fans, many Japanese people are negative feeling toward Korea. We do not know how this dispute turn out to be in the future. But whether it goes peacefully or badly, I hope the dispute does not break cultural exchanges between Japan and Korea. (Atsushi)


Doraemon is the loveable robot cat hero of the popular manga and anime series. In the lore of the series, Doraemon is born on Sept. 3, 2112, and sent back to the present with an inexhaustible pocketful of tricks and tools from the future to keep Nobita, his lazy and unlucky fourth grade co-star, out of trouble. Google Japan celebrates the Draemon gminus g100th birthday You would like to watch that, go to (Atsushi)


There's a notion that Japanese gamers like role-playing games (RPGs) such as "Dragon Quest" and "Final Fantasy" which are also popular all over the world. They are playing by themselves and immersing themselves in virtual world so that they get rid of their stress they got while socializing with people in society. However, those trends are getting changed. Japanese gamers start having an interest in new style games. But they prefer to get connected to someone than being alone. So you find Japanese gamers online in your favorite game, just say hello to them :) (Atsushi)


Japan's oldest market in Sakurai, Nara Prefecture, will host the Manyo Matsuri on Sept 8. Festival organizers will sell paper lanterns on which participants can write romantic messages to their loved ones. The lanterns will then be set afloat on Hatsuse River. Hatsuse River used to be the location of an old road that led to the village of Asuka, which was also the capital city of the region. The road intersected with a road to Nanba, today's Osaka. That crossing was a meeting spot for many people and was whereyoung men and women gathered and sought out partners by exchanging love poems. You get interested, youfd better join!! (Atsushi)


How was your weekend? The heat let up recently. It is really comfortable to live. But sometimes there are rain shower. So, you should be aware of that you need an umbrella in Japan so that you do not need to be soaked to skin because of the sudden shower. Well, except the sudden shower things, there are nothing you need to be aware before coming to Japan. So you are thinking of coming to Japan, you must come!! :)(Atsushi)


In a city the size of Tokyo, it is difficult to be aware of where all food comes from. Most of what we eat is shipped in from far away, not just the extremities of the country but from all around the world. Japan's overall food self-sufficiency rate is bad enough — a mere 38.3 percent as of 2010. So it is encouraging to head to farmers markets in recent years. More than the access to know who grows what food, there is a feeling of community, the sense of being connected and able to chat with the folks. So, farmers market is playing a role not only where you can buy fresh food, but also bond people together. (Atsushi)


If you are living in Japan to study Japanese and give your Japanese friends compliment by saying you are so sweet in Japanese, have you even seen them got confused? In English if you call someone sweet it's a compliment, but not in Japanese. Amai which means sweet in Japanese nominally means sweet as in sugar. If you call human-being Amai, you mean that this person you speak to is naive or shortsighted. But do not be afraid of trying to speak Japanese if you are studying Japanese in Japan. Making some errors is the process to be bilingual and Japanese people are usually not that mean such as sneering at your mistakes!!  (Atsushi)


The AKB member Maeda bow out. Maeda was an original member of the group created in 2005 and named after the electronics and subculture district called Akihabara(shortened to capital letters as AKB) in Tokyo. Theater in the Akihabara district in Tokyo marked her graduation. AKB 48 is one of the most popular "idol" groups in Japan. The group has been trying to boost its presence even beyond Japan, Shanghai, Taipei and Jakarta. (Atsushi)


Back in February, tomato juice was flowing out of supermarket. The frenzy had been sparked by a report written by researchers at Kyoto University that indicates that consuming large amounts of tomatoes was effective in alleviating gmetabolic syndromeh. Tomato growers have been quick to accommodate increased demand. Some sake brewers, for instance, has developed a tomato liquor made from fresh tomatoes grown in the area. Gunma, a tomato ice cream has been on sale since July 27. So it seems the juice has not quite yet run out of the tomato boom. (Atsushi)


How was your weekend? Here in Japan, summer is almost over. Well, it is still hot and humid at some degree. But the summer mood in which people love to go swimming in sea is slowing down. That is because the big break called Obon was already over, summer vacation for students which long usually for 2 months will be over and they will get back to study again soon. What we are looking forward is to seeing autumn color of leaves!! (Atsushi)


Smoking is banned on the streets but not inside bars and restaurants. Well, almost banned. Recently, wefve seen more attractive smoking spaces. Smokers would be willing to pay a small premium for that pleasant experience. Ippuku, which means ga puff,h is a pay-as-you-go smoking area. There are benches to sit on, outlets to charge your phone, tables to prop up a drink.SO, they donft need to be self-conscious while smoking. The cost to enter is \50. But do people actually have to pay to smoke? (Atsushi)


Many Japanese people take trains to commute to their work because it is cheaper than cars and less time-consuming. I do not think you would like to struggle in traffic jam in early morning. You are still sleep-fogged, which could lead you to get car accidents. So, because of those reasons, Japanese prefer to take trains. At the same time, What to do while commuting to work is an important agenda recently. Most young people just listen to music with their favorite music players such as I-pod. Some business men seem to subscribe to business magazines or just sleep. Some girls put their make on while on trains. In conclusion, taking trains during commuting time such as 7 to 9am is one of the best times to peek at Japanese life style. I canft 100 percent sure that taking trains during those times is convenient though!! (Atsushi)


Olympic athletes got back to Japan from London. There are 38 medals in total. Japanese citizen are greeting them for their long-term effort that led them to get some medals at the Olympic games in London. Half million people got together on the street when Olympic athletes are joining victory drive there to show their appreciation toward Japanese citizens. Half-million is such a big number, right? I guess that victory drive was very exciting moment, that also made me realize that such a moment would not come until 4 years later (Atsushi)


If you are such a geek of Japanese modern pop culture, you must have heard about AKB 48. AKB 48 has reshaped the landscape of youth culture in modern Japan. The pop-idol group's rapid rise to stardom across a wide array of formats has provided the country's children lots of dream they had never had before. Young people today chase dreams of being in the spotlight that many Japanese would have shunned years ago. These days, long-term goals of careers in politics or medicine have been replaced with the need for reaching stardom. What do you think about those favor among preteens? (Atsushi)


How was your weekend? Here, in Japan, everything got back to nornal. Apparently someone are still in vacation mood though because they had 1 week vacation called Obon. It is getting hot here. That made us sweat, which is icky as you can imagine. But we know now is the best time to enjoy swimming! So, do not be afraid of hot weather if you are thinking of Japan!!(Atsushi)


Airports were flooded with travelers Saturday as people began returning home from summer holidays abroad. Around 50,000 foreign and domestic travelers expected to enter Japan through the airport over the weekend, which means that Japanfs hectic and crowded rush hour will begin again next week. People have to get back to their busy life or schools from holidays. I assume that it would take some times for them to entirely recover from being holiday mood though! (Atsushi)


Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda decided to restart the Oi nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture. On July 5 it became the first reactor to be restarted since the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11 of last year. Tens of thousands of citizens have continued to chant against the restart of Japan's nuclear reactors. The most important fact is that people have realized that it's OK to raise their voices. Before this antinuclear movement began, Japan had no system in place where the opinions of citizens could be heard, because members of panels and government councils were selected and controlled by bureaucrats. I believe these protests are the start of achieving real democracy (Atsushi)


Hundreds of protesters gathered Saturday in China's northern city of Xian to protest against Japan's arrest of Chinese activists who landed on the disputed Senkaku Islands last week. Japan and China always have serious tension now. They have interacted each other both culturally and economically. But sometimes they came into conflict over some issues because the background of history. I am not talking about whether which is right or not because I want to think about issues about Japan and China from pro and con points and I assume that each government should. (Atsushi)


It is been hot recently. I know that there is nowhere I could make a claim for the temperature. Since Japan is in the middle of Obon holidays this week, stations are sore of less noisy than usual. I mean that Japanfs commute time which is from 7 to 9am is very hectic and crowded. There is almost no room to just to stand on the train. Yes, they stand on their toes. What if standing on toes and hot weather get combined? You already know what I would like to mention now. Taking trains during rush hours never be a smart idea! :P (Atsushi)


The Olympic games were over finally! It was like that that 2weeks were passed by a flash! Or you are such a sports hater, you would disagree with me! Well, Japan got 38 medals in total at this Olympic games and the number of gold medals are one more than last game. The Olympic games were not just about victory or defeat, but dramatic stories many athletes have. They had been just aiming at the London Olympic games to join and get a medal for 4 years. I donft come up with how to describe how hard their effort for 4 years. But I am really sure that every athletes who joined this Olympic deserved to get compliments (Atsushi)


Obon holidays start now. It bring families together even more closely, and people get reunion with someone they love such as relatives. Although the price of travel is much more expensive than usual, people go on a trip abroad. So if you go to the airport now, I am pretty sure that you will see bunch of people lining to the embarkation procedure. But if you can take a long break in your countries, Japan is a good choice to visit!! (Atsushi)


When you have been to Japan to for sightseeing or visit for a while, I am sure you have taken a train before because trains are really convenient and that takes you to almost every point you would like to go with good price. But have you ever noticed something weird on the train? Well, let me put it this way please, did you see almost everyone bending neck down at all times? Yes, Japanese love cell phones. Recently, their interests converge on Smart Phone such as I phone as you already know. What I would like to say here is that donft you think it weird that once you get on the train, everyone is getting glued to the small screen of mobile phone ?(Atsushi)


It had been hot recently. People here always get sweat and thirsty. What would you like to drink in really hot summer like I mentioned above? Well, If beers or something alcohol came across your mind, beer garden will be a place to retreat from the heat. People toast with alcohol they order and drink to let off steam. Those scenes happen a lot in summer. So, you are thinking of making friends with Japanese people, beer garden would be one of a good place although you are not allowed to drink if you are still under 20 years old!!(Atsushi)


Hiroshima honors A-bomb dead. It is 67th anniversary Monday of the city's atomic bombing. The average age of a survivor living in Japan is 78. They are the only one who can tell us how scary it was and how important it is that we bring their story we hear to younger people. The tragedy 67 years ago must never be forgotten. I hope that people who are interested in Japan get to know not only a bright aspect of Japan people know generally such as comics or beautiful architecture or something, but the history which have been still important for us. (Atsushi)


How was your weekend? Did you hang in somewhere with your love one? Well, in Japan there are lots fun thing going on such as HANABI which is firework. We love to go to see fireworks with our family or anyone you love. But this summer, technically saying at this time, is quite a bit different from usual summer we appreciate? Why? Because we stay home and stick to TV so they donft miss the every important scene of the Olympics. (Atsushi)


Nadeshiko Japan which is the Japan women's national football team won Women's World Cup champion last year. That made womenfs football popular and still loved all over Japan. But Nadeshiko Japan is now the target of worldwide criticism. They intentionally play for a draw against South Africa in their final group match. That is because that Draw team could stay in Cardiff to take on Brazil on Friday. Nadeshiko Japan coach Norio Sasaki admitted that it was the tactic to not move to Glasgow and stay in Cardiff. What do you think about this? Bad sportsmanship or good tactics?(Atsushi)


Judo is a traditional sport in Japan as you know Japanese athletes had won gold medals in all 10 Olympics from 1964 Tokyo Games. Getting no Judo gold medals is the first time in the history. That shocks whole of Japan. Japanese people are expecting that Japanese Judo is the strongest since it was born here around 100 years ago. However, it turned out that it is time to take a second look at our belief. It is sad that Japanese could not get gold medals. But from positive perspective, Judo is spreading to all over the world. Thatfs why Judo is not Japanfs specialty any more. So, I hope that Japan is going to get gold medals next time and Judo continues to be loved all over the world.(Atsushi)


Nara prefecture which is next to Kyoto used to be the center of Japan around 1300 years and has lots of historical treasure. In summer, Nara Park has held Nara Tokae which is a yearly event. The park is lit up at night by more than 10,000 candle called Toka. Toka is traditionally thought to be auspicious. Candles will be arranged like stars in the night sky which can make visitors feel as if they are walking through the Milky Way. Candle will be lit up from 7 pm to 9:45pm. If you are wondering where you should visit, Nara park would be worth going! (Atsushi)


Japan have lots of things that attract people such as food architecture Anime and so on. But you know that Japanese people love video games? If you are big fan of video games who play Nintendo, that was such a stupid question. Well, Many Japanese gamers love role-playing games. And there is one role-playing game loved by them for a long time. That is called ehDragon Quest g. This game is iconic. It's loved by players young and old. This week, the latest entry will be released. Some really big fans of Dragon Quest stand in line in front of the Video game store before the release so that they can buy as soon as possible even though we know that we can just buy online. So, the release of new entry is kind of the festival here. (Atsushi)


The Olympic Games started! Did you see the opening ceremony or someone is actually in London? Wherever you are at, I hope that everyone is being excited to watch the Olympic Games. There are lots of TV shows that feature Olympic athletes recently. Some crazed fans of sports are up until late because of time difference between London and Japan So that they can watch athletes they like wining the medal. Did Olympic athletes you like win the medal? I know that you are obsessed with the Olympic Games now. But please do not forget about Japan!! :P(Atsushi)


After work, Japanese salary men(businessmen) go back home. They are tired after wearing business clothes in hot summer. When they get to home, there is one traditional cool clothes that help people survive in hot summer. That is calledh sutetekoh. Suteteko is a loose, thin and roomy long pant. Japanese men sit cross-legged in front of TV and have some beer. That is the stereotype of Japanese men. So if you're thinking of staying in Japan for a while this summer, suteteco is a good choice to survive in hot weather (Atsushi)


Summer is coming here again. That means That Japanese people have to SETSUDEN (saving electricity). That was implemented last year after March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami. On the split of stoicism, much percent of Japanese were cooperating to save electricity by keeping air conditioners at some degree recommended by government or wearing cooler clothes at offices, which is called gCool Biz campaignh So, summer coming here does not only mean changing seasons, but giving us lots of signs of SETSUDEN again. (Atsushi)


There are some annual events in Japan. For example, People eat eel on the day of the ox in mid-summer to relieve fatigue and get energetic. There is an old saying that when you eat eel, you never get tired from the summer heat. Whether it is true or not from the standing point of science, people love fishes in Japan. However, the price of eel is getting high due to low catches. Japan relies on import of lots of the eels people consume. So, some people are wondering if they should eat the eels this summer even though the price is higher than usual. It is a choice of between being healthy and saving money. If you are standing in these choices, which do you prefer? (Atsushi)


Baseball is a national sport in Japan. We love lots of sports such as football, tennis, basketball and so on. Peoplefs interest on sports is getting divided. However, baseball is still one of the most popular sports here. So for those Japanese who love baseball like I said above, today was a shocking day because Seattle Mariners icon Ichiro Suzuki was traded to the New York Yankees. I feel bad if you do not know much about baseball because I guess you cannot follow what I am talking and the how shocking it is. Ichiro Suzuki is a really famous Japanese baseball player everyone knows here. So, many Japanese go to Seattle to see him. But probably after today, there will be lots of Japanese going to ballpark in New York (Atsushi)


How was your weekend? Here in Japan, mostly children are on summer break. They are having their own break such going to watch baseball game with their parents or having some fun outside. While lots of children are showing up with smiles outside , weathers are being great recently. Well, it is way too early to get thoughtful in summer though because temperature is getting high every day and I m sure it continues for a while. (Atsushi)


The Japan women's national football team called Nadeshiko Japan is one of the hot topic lots of people curious if they can get gold medal in the London Olympic games. Honestly, they were not known generally before Japan defeated the U.S. in the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup Final and become the first Asian team to win the FIFA Women's World Cup. Since then, they have been gotten lots of attentions nationally. And of course people are hoping Nadeshiko Japan to win the Olympic games so that they can get impressed again by their sensational victory. (Atsushi)


10 days before the start of the London Games, people here are really excited. There are lots of TV commercials and programs that feature Olympic games. Japan is celebrating the 100th anniversary of its Olympic debut in 1912. Then we brought the Olympics to Tokyo in 1964. People are hoping to bring the Olympics to Tokyo in 2020. Ifm not sure if it comes true or not. But whether or not, this Olympic is really important to Japan because the more medals Japanese athletes get, the more chances they can get to push toward bringing the Olympics to Tokyo in 2020 (Atsushi)


It is really hot every day. The rainy season was over and summer already came. There are number of heat stroke patients during July and August even though they are taking care. People suffering from heat stroke should rest in a cool. But summer is not just a bad season to live. In summer, many people go out in summer to enjoy festivals or displays of fireworks. These make summer in Japan really attractive and thatfs why people love summer! So, please do not afraid of hot weather and come to enjoy the taste of summer in Japan! (Atsushi)


Gion Matsuri, the festival of Yasaka Shrine, is a famous festival in Japan. Gion Festival takes a place in Kyoto over the entire month of July. There are many events while this festival is being held. Especially, the Yamaboko Junko, which is a name of procession, is a main event. This procession is held on 17th. Decorated wagons which are called "Boko" and "Yama" are pulled by people around town. Gion festival is an intangible heritage of humanity by UNESCO. So even though this main event is already over, when you come to Kyoto in summer, I am sure that you can enjoy Gion festival. (Atsushi)


Did you get interested in Kaiseki-Ryori? If you do not know what I am talking about, please go back to yesterdayfs blog. Japan has lots of unique cuisine. such as sushi, ramen, udon. But these regular Japanese food are not necessarily connected with Kyoto in particular. They are also available across the city. Food fans should visit to the Nishiki Market in central Kyoto, which has been known as Kyotofs kitchen for many centuries. It is a great place to find seasonal Japanese food, like seafood. So, you are a big food fan, please do not miss it!! (Atsushi)


. Most of people who got interested in Japan and got decided to go to Japan like are curious about Japanese food, I guess What is the Japanese good that come to your mind? Whatever Japanese food you like, I recommend Kaiseki-ryori which is one of the Japanese traditional food. Kaiseki-ryori was originally a simple meal served during the traditional tea ceremony, but later evolved into a popular dining style. Kyoto style kaiseki ryori (kyo kaiseki) is particularly sophisticated. Kyoto style places an emphasis on subtle flavors and local and seasonal ingredients. If you get interested, you should stay at a Ryokan which is a Japanese tradional hotel. Staing at a Ryokan is the easiest way to enjoy Kaiseki-ryori. (Atsushi)


Even though, we already got ready for hot summer and are dying for playing outside, it is still hard to expect what weather we will have next time. It is always humid and it rains a lot. But suddenly, the weather clears up, which makes me feel that summer is finally here. It turns out to be wrong though. I want that the sky clears up and it lasts for a long time so that I never feel sad after I find out that its way too early to make sure that summer is already here. (Atsushi)


How was the beginning of the week? Hot weather makes it hard to get rid of tiredness even though I must have got enough breaks last weekend. Well, please let me introduce about Osaka this time. Have you ever heard anything about Osaka? Osaka is the second biggest city economically and a very vibrant place. It has been an economic powerhouse of Kansai region. So if you have a chance to come to Japan, please never forget to visit in Osaka!! (Atsushi)


How was your weekend? It is getting hot every day and humid as always. However, summer is the hot season to play sports, right? London Olympic is coming soon! We Japanese people are as excited as people all over the world? By the way, which sports do you prefer? I like to watch Judo which is martial arts. Judo was born in Japan and it has long history. But recently Japanese Judo players get knocked out at the international match. So, I hope that someone win at this Olympic game. (Atsushi)


I would like ask all of you who got interested in Japan and visit in this webpage to go on a trip to Japan. What made you interested in Japan? There are lots of aspects of Japan such as cuisine, architecture and anime and so on. Well, if you love anime, do you know the best place where you should probably go? That place is called AKIHABARA. Tons of Anime and computer geeks head out to know the newest nerd culture which is going on there right now. Whether you like Anime or not, Akihabara is worth going. Well, you already assume that I am a big fan of Akihabara since I recommend. But please do not get me wrong. I am not. I love there from a cultural standpoint :p (Atsushi)


As well as lots of countries all over tht world face are facing unpreceden recession, Japan is also trying to get out of it. To make this gloomy mood brighten, new word was born recetntly. Its called " cool Japan".This describes anime, architecture to cuisine, which are the cultural aspects of Japanese society, should be got lots of attention economically and exported. Personally I believe that this new challenge gives people all over the world chances to know about Japan. (Atsushi)


I assume that someone got interested in Nara if you read yesterday's blog. So i will continue to talk about Nara. Nara is famous for lots of temples and shrines. Specifically Tōdai-ji, Saidai-ji, Kōfuku-ji, Kasuga Shrine, Gangō-ji, Yakushi-ji, Tōshōdai-ji, and the Heijō Palace. These are really interesting to visit. Nara is direclty bordering to Kyoto. So if you come to Kansai region, I recommend that you visit both prefecture. (Atsushi)


Im sure that those of you who visit in this webpage are interested in Kyoto. But let me introduce about Nara which is the historic place as well as Kyoto is. Nara was the capital city of Japan about 1300 years ago. Therefore, there are lots of temples and shrines that stimulate lot of people's curiosity. You got interested? I will introduce more about Nara to you guys next time. (Atsushi)


How was your weekend? Can you believe that the half of this year is already gone? Humid rainy weather still hasnft make us feel that summer is already here. Kyto has special Matsuri(festival) called Gion Matsuri this month. The Gion Festival is being held in Kyoto from July 1st to the 31st. This is one of the three greatest parade float festivals along with the Kyoto Gion Festival and the Hida-Takayama Festival. So you have a chance to visit in Kyoto this month, you should check it out.! (Atsushi)

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