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  1. What do you do with the leather field scabbard that’s falling apart due to old age ?
  2. Hey guys, I've got a wakizashi of a friend here. He is curious about whether or not it makes sense to have restored. I told him it largely depends on the signature. The signature looks confidently written, but that could mean nothing. The blade has a clipped/snapped tip, but it appears to not pass through the hardened edge (a few mm of tip loss). The blade is about 18" (from what I remember, I'll change this once he gets back to me) and appears to have a suguha type hamon. It has a shirasaya with integral wooden habaki in poor condition but appears to have once been of good quality. The blade is quite stout and appears healthy enough to receive a polish. It gave me the impression of a Sukesada-type work. My asks for my friend's blade are: Translation of mei Veracity of mei: shoshin or gimei? Worth restoration or no? General impression/opinion Again, any help/feedback is appreciated guys, Thanks! ~Chris
  3. Posted across several threads due to size limits....please see my profile for the rest.... As promised I'm sharing an overview of our small collection of nihonto. We're a small volunteer run museum in NZ. We don't know a ton about this collection and due to many factors much of the paperwork is missing, so we don't know the stories around how they came to be in the museum. At some time in the past the blades were all liberally coated in oil, we think maybe linseed oil. We've gently cleaned it off but as you can see it has stained the blades. They are all very much out of polish, which makes it very hard to see the hamon. We've done our best with the photos, to show the elements which would be useful in terms of ID. Full care for all of these nihonto is unfortunately outside the parameters of our current project, both time wise and budget wise. However, if the community on here identifies anything particularly special, we might be able to organise some special treatment. I hope this doesn't sound harsh. It's just that we are cataloguing and caring for an entire museum on a tiny budget. We really love these nihonto which is why we're sharing them here. So, any ID help is greatly appreciated, or just any general info or discussion at all. Every little bit of knowledge helps. Many thanks friends :-) Catalogue number 2379, previously discussed mismatched saya and blade:
  4. Posted across several threads due to size limits....please see my profile for the rest.... As promised I'm sharing an overview of our small collection of nihonto. We're a small volunteer run museum in NZ. We don't know a ton about this collection and due to many factors much of the paperwork is missing, so we don't know the stories around how they came to be in the museum. At some time in the past the blades were all liberally coated in oil, we think maybe linseed oil. We've gently cleaned it off but as you can see it has stained the blades. They are all very much out of polish, which makes it very hard to see the hamon. We've done our best with the photos, to show the elements which would be useful in terms of ID. Full care for all of these nihonto is unfortunately outside the parameters of our current project, both time wise and budget wise. However, if the community on here identifies anything particularly special, we might be able to organise some special treatment. I hope this doesn't sound harsh. It's just that we are cataloguing and caring for an entire museum on a tiny budget. We really love these nihonto which is why we're sharing them here. So, any ID help is greatly appreciated, or just any general info or discussion at all. Every little bit of knowledge helps. Many thanks friends :-)
  5. A Gift to Hachiman・or how NOT to conserve a sword “TSURUGAOKA HACHIMANGU ; Famous temple located at Kamakura, dedicated to the god of war-in 1103 Minamoto Yoriyoshi had erected a temple on Yui-ga-Hama, dedicated to Hachiman, the titular god of his family. Yoritomo transported it (1193) to Kamakura and erected it on the Tsurugaoka hill, where it may be seen to the present day. In 1219 the Shogun Sanetomo went there in great pomp to render thanks for his nomination to the dignity of udaijin. After the ceremony, on descending the steps, his nephew, Kugyo, assassinated him. In 1526 Satomi Yoshihiro, the governor of the province Awa plundered the treasures of the temple but Hojo Ujitsuna obliged him to retreat.- The temple of Tsurugaoka is one of the last remnants of the grandeur of Kamakura. Interesting souvenirs of the middle ages are kept in it.” - E. Papinot The layout of Kamakura today is dominated by Wakamiya Oji, the main street in town, which runs dead straight from the beach to the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine. It was built by the order of Yoritomo, when the Tsurugaoka Hachiman shrine was erected. Moto Hachiman, or the former Hachiman is not far from my house near Zaimokuza beach. There are three Torii that stand over the road to the shrine from Ni no Torii to Ichi no Torii, which stands at the entrance to the shrine grounds; there is a raised path, which is contained within sloping stone walls like a castle. There are cherry trees set all along this path: the Dankazura. It actually tapers down to about a half its width at the shrine end, but due to an engineered optical illusion, it does not appear so. It seems Yoritomo built everything in the town with an eye to warfare; an invading army might charge down this welcoming path four or five across only to find themselves fighting in space wide enough for only two or three. April is the time to don your kimono and stroll the Dankazura enjoying the cherries in bloom. Yoritomo built the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu in fulfillment of a promise he made at the Moto-Hachiman, “should I be successful in my campaign against the Taira, I will build the biggest Hachiman shrine Japan has ever seen right here in Kamakura”. As we all know, the first Shogun’s prayers were answered, and thereafter many people high and low made offerings in thanks for the favors bestowed upon them by the spirits of this beautiful place. For some four hundred years, the storehouse of the shrine collected treasure until in 1526, during the13th battle of Kamakura,・the aforementioned Satomi Yoshihiro caused the destruction of the temple. What wonderful things were lost, we might never know, but there are as yet interesting souvenirs of the middle ages kept here. Kobizen Masatsune tachi, Kokuho Bizen Nagamitsu tachi, Juyo Bunkazai Kuniyoshi tachi, Juyo Bunkazai Soshu Tsunahiro tachi, Kanagawa ken Juyo Bunkazai Tsunaie tachi, Kanagawa ken Juyo Bunkazai Hirokuni tachi, Kanagawa ken Juyo Bunkazai Kunimura, Senjuin, Chikuzen Nobukuni, and Muramasa, all number among the one hundred or so swords that are still in the storehouse of Hachimangu. Hojo Ujitsuna, the 8th, 9th, and 10th Tokugawa Shoguns and the Meiji Emperor are some of the more notable persons making offerings here. It is the ultimate in presumption to consider myself among their number, but the fact remains that late last year I, too determined to present a sword to the shrine. Last year, I retired my Iai-to and though I felt it didn’t need a polish, I decided to do my bit for the Japanese economy and have it polished and put it in a fresh shirasaya. Unfortunately, as sometimes happens, the kawagane proved too thin and the shingane was exposed during polish, to be expected perhaps with a Kamakura period tachi but the mark of death for a shinshinto blade which mine happened to be. I now had a considerable investment in a sword which had cost me too much already and there was certainly no way for me to recover any of the money spent. I resolved therefore to lovingly preserve it as it had near been a very part of my body daily for close to ten years. In the event of my passing on, on some long distant future day, it could be treasured in my family as an heirloom. Reflecting upon the loose hold my family now has on reality and the sheer lack of interest in things Japanese they exhibit, I began to have my doubts about future generations the more I thought about it. How then to conserve this blade in a way I could be reasonably assured it would not be mistreated in the future. As you must have guessed, I hit upon the brilliant idea of donating the sword to the Hachiman shrine. Owing to the poor condition of the blade, I felt it would surely be rejected by the priests. To my surprise Hon’Ami Koji Sensei, my iai teacher, a sword polisher and conservator of the Hachiman shrine sword collection was delighted with my idea. In fact he sat down and immediately started working on a schedule for the presentation. April, 2001 was determined to be the best time so we set things in motion to carry out our Ho-no-shiki or offertory ceremony. What sword you ask is worth all this. It is not at all special, I assure you. Signed OHIRA TO YUKISADA, Dated MANEN GANNEN HACHIGATSU HI. It is a 2 shaku 5 sun 8 bu katana with chu kissaki, shallow koshizori, tight tight itame hada and a rather wide choji midare hamon. The nakago is 27cm long with kurijiri and kattesagari yasurime with kesho yasuri. The gojimei is located in the shinogiji, midway between the mekugi-ana and the habaki moto. There are 2 mekugi-ana, one of which is a shinobi-ana, which was a popular addition in the Bakumatsu era. Ohira Yukisada or Yukikazu is listed as a Musashi area smith who worked around the time of the Meiji restoration or a little before. He styled himself Yu no shin・or bird of progress・ The To (藤) in the signature is also read Fuji・as in Fujiwara so this is an abbreviation. The year 1860, Manen gannen, started out with the assassination of the great elder II Naosuke, by a group of Mito ronin, angered by his policies of placating the foreign powers and punishing those who opposed him including the lord of Mito. The country was taking sides for a battle many were certain was soon to come, one has to wonder which side of the conflict this blade was destined for. This sword was originally purchased at the Great Western Gun Show, at the San Francisco Cow Palace sometime before 1983 for $700. At that time it was in shirasaya with late Edo/Meiji period copper habaki, iron tsuba, iron fuchikashira, a blue linen wrapped tsuka with white same and menuki which had been stripped by the owner prior to me. I bought it in 1987 in this condition. There is perhaps some justice in this sword finding peace back in Japan after the abuse it suffered in America. I immediately sanded down the shirasaya and painted it with green auto-lacquer. Then began the years of swinging, whacking and cutting. Over time I had a new saya made and rebuilt and rewrapped the handle. Now it has a new silver habaki, shirasaya and proper Japanese polish. On a gorgeous Saturday in April some thirty members of the Kamakura Iaido Kyokai and guests gathered at the Hachimangu Shrine. Dressed in formal montsuki and hakama We collected in the maeden, on the same stage that Shizuka Gozen stood upon as she plead for Yoshitsune’s life in song. We bowed before the priest where receiving his blessing we presented for all the gods and buddhas to see, the faithful sword which had seen me through three thousand days of determined practice. Following this, myself and two others had their new swords blessed in a ceremony known as Nyu-kon-shiki and here upon the stage practiced for the first time with those swords. The swords used in the ceremony to be invested with the true spirit of a samurai sword were tied with mizuhiki cord, after each was blessed an attendant handed the swords to Hon’Ami Sensei who then drew his Umetada Myoju tanto and cut the cord. After which each of us presented five kata or forms to the gods of the shrine. As I took the stage to perform my forms, in each corner sat a friend acting as guard against evil, the Shitenno. In the Northeast sat Iwamura Nobuhiro, who some of you have met, 6th dan Muso Jiki Den Eishin Ryu. To the Southeast from Brazil; Candido Roberto Nunez Sequiera, 3rd dan Toyama Ryu Batto-jutsu. To the Northwest from Sri Lanka, Siri Herath, 2nd dan Toyama Ryu Batto-jutsu and in the Southwest from France, Evelyne Sentenac, Shodan Muso Shinden Ryu. Thus all the parts of the globe were represented as I drew my sword and symbolically cut down evil with my newly christened blade.  Following the ceremony there was a luncheon, where I was presented with a certificate acknowledging my gift and where I was asked to give a little speech. I thanked everyone and expressed my hope that the sword would reside within the shrine as a symbol of amity between San Francisco and Kamakura, between the U.S. and Japan and persons everywhere. So now this vet pick-up old beater iaito with Mike Virgadamo saya, Russ Axt handle and wrap, Fred Lohmen menuki, Cary Condell oshigata and lacquer job by yours truly, will join the other swords in the treasure house of the great Tsurugaoka Hachimangu where it will be lovingly cared for, for perhaps another 800 years carrying with it a tale of woe all too many swords know today, along with my sincere thanks for the life changing lessons it taught me during our brief journey together and of course the dear friends it has brought me to. @Kamakura in Japan, Thomas C Helm
  6. Hello All! I recently purchased a Japanese sword at auction. After having a jeweler drill out the pin that had been hammered in, I was able to remove the handle (which I think matches Shin-Gunto fittings but I am not sure) and revel that it is signed on both sides of the tang. Unfortunately I don’t have much experience reading the characters so I was wondering if anyone recognized them? I have attached lots of photos but if anyone needs more please let me know. I would love to find out more about the blade and if anyone can tell me if it would be worthwhile to clean/restore the blade it would be much appreciated. also, to be clear I do not intend to use any information provided for selling the below item, I only want to understand more about what I have and the best way to handle it.
  7. To (only) people who know what they're talking about: I am currently getting fittings together for my katana in shirasaya. I recently purchased a tsuba from the ebay seller Koushuya. This was after almost a year of searching for the tsuba that felt just right. I ended up going with this one, and I am very happy with the purchase. Apparently it's an antique from the Edo period. But I don't really care about that. I just really like how it looks.......makes me feel good. My first question: Should I leave this thing alone and fit it to my katana as is, or should I do something about the rust that looks like it might be eating away at the sukashi? My second question: If I should do something about the rust, what should I do/how should I do it? I don't want to damage/alter this thing (beyond necessarily removing rust) if I can help it. I really like it. Here are some pics:
  8. Hello to all. Long time collector of nihonto but new to teppo. I found this at an antique shop while on vacation in Tennessee. Thanks to some Facebook friends, I know the signature is Goshu Kunitomo Tayosuke Katsumasa. It also contains Niju makibari. Would really enjoy learning more about Tayosuke Katsumasa such as time period he worked, how he is viewed as a smith compared to other Smith's of the time. Any information is greatly appreciated! https://i.imgur.com/caJc0US.jpg https://i.imgur.com/3sjGU9d.jpg https://i.imgur.com/ahkZe9x.jpg https://i.imgur.com/Beft3Bg.jpg https://i.imgur.com/dn4vjjW.jpg
  9. Hi guys, I am looking for an original WW2-era Japanese leather Shin-Gunto 'combat' sword scabbard covering. The wooden saya it will go onto is 26" long, (66cm). The attachment ring is 3" down from the scabbard throat (7.62cm). So the cover would need to be slightly longer than this to fit properly. The cover doesn't need to be in perfect condition. Just looking for one that will display well. Also would like it to still have all or most of it's stitching intact. The tusba is an old Edo period solid iron piece, and is not cut out for a retaining strap. So no need for the cover to have the little brass snaps on it. Pics are from the auction. Just PM me here if you have one to sell or trade, or know someone who might. Thanks!
  10. Hi Everyone, I recently got an interesting yari off ebay but it is mounted in a tanto koshirae. It has very impressive lacquer work but the lacquer is cracking, has flaked off in places and it looks like at one point someone used a sharpie to blacken some missing spots that have now grown. I would love to get the yari out and see if it's signed but I am not sure that will ever happen since there does not seem to be a mekugi, it could be glued in, I am not sure. It is so delicate in places I am scared every time I handle it, is there anyone who could correctly get this restored or just stabilized that forum members know of? Maybe this is not the kind of thing that should be messed with at all and just preserved as best it can be as is. On a more general topic, has anyone seen yari mounted like this before? I remember reading somewhere that it was popular in the 1800's to repurpose mounts/mediocre blades to export. I would love opinions as to if this could this weird mounting style be a result of that or could it be a genuine mounting of something earlier? Thanks for your time and ideas. -J.G.
  11. Hi all, Not sure if a question like this even belongs here but while dreaming of well polished swords I saw this absolute rust bucket somewhere. I've got no experience whatsoever with neglected nihonto, so hopefully someone with more experience can help me out here. The shirasaya (is it??) looks very iffy, I've never seen it done like this. What is this? A 'fake' or something very unusual? The blade itself I also have no idea about. It might be genuine but it is in absolutely pitiful state. So even if this one were the real deal, would it even be possible to bring this back to a state where people would want to look at it? These pictures are unfortunately all I have. Best, Mark
  12. Hey there, I've recently received a wakizashi from my grandfather, which was previously "restored" in to a terrible state of being. I'm looking to try and restore at least the tsuka and saya myself, but a bunch of parts are simply missing. The kashira is not present, but the fuchi is, now I'm not sure I'd even be able to find a kashira to match the fuchi, but even so, I'd like to know what kind of design this even is, because while I like how it looks, I just can't figure out what it's supposed to be. The fuchi is slightly bent on the inside on one side as well, dunno how safe it would be to attempt to bend it back. It was quite a hassle removing it from the sword, as the guy who "restored" it had superglued all of it together. A few bonus images while I'm at it, it's where I got so far taking all of it apart: And what the sword looked like after that guy restored it some 30 odd years ago.
  13. I am trying to date this blade. I can't figure out which Kuniyuki made it. I am also trying to figure out if it is worth the money to do a full polish and mount. Please help. I am new on here so bare with me.
  14. I bought a blade with habaki, so I need to make everything else myself. Koshirae: I decided to make aikuchi with buffalo horn fittings with flower motif
  15. saved blade... sashikomi finishing. Blade was very rusty. I started my work with kongo-do Then I used next step stones after uchigumori-do I used hazuya and jizuya Send Your feedback, please.
  16. Dear NMB Members, my Name is Tim and I bought a Kogatana from the Edo period. Unfortunately I don't know the accurate year, but it is signed and I need help with the translation. Because of the polishing process or just the time the kanji are not that easy to see. I tried to reconstruct them, but I am not sure, if they are correct. In the photos you can see the blade from two diffrent angles and the kanji I reconstructed. Regretfully the third character is nearly completely gone. I would be happy about any thoughts and help with the translation, with best regards Tim
  17. Dear all, Here I am, in my never ending quest for spare parts related to menpo / hanpo. I still have a few hanpo in need of a throat guard. If you have this kind of spare part available for sale, please contact me by PM. Any type welcome. The tare must be old, genuine, and in decent condition. Thank you for your help.
  18. Hey all! Just joined as I saw that you're all a very active community and as I cannot read signatures so I thought I would ask for help with this particular wakizashi. It has a kikumon on the nakago and then a smith signature. I would love to be told any sort of information you guys can glean from the signature. Age, smith, apparent rarity would all be much appreciated. I've only recently started to acquire more nihonto for my collection of blades and I am now sitting at a little little over half a dozen nihonto of varying types. It has the original silver foil habaki and a shirasaya. If something special, it would be my first nihonto to choose for restoration to display mounts. Pictures below, feel free to ask for more and I can try to get more! Thanks very much! ~Chris
  19. Hello all, I am relatively new to collecting Type 95 IJA swords and, like others, have been looking for parts for a restore-able Type 95 Iron Tsuba sword for some time. I am looking for; 1. the sarute screw (NCO grooved variety) 2. the brass throat piece for the saya that screws into top of saya. Mine is a bodgey I think because it is just the brass top collar (no number) and does not have the brass throat piece that goes into the saya to be screwed in place. Failing obtaining the throat piece (above) I may have to buy a complete Type 95 saya if any exist at a reasonable price. Condition is not really important but the parts must be genuine. If I cant obtain these parts/replacements then I will seriously consider selling the sword and the broken saya (may/may not be genuine?) can go with it. Love to hear from you and thanks in advance. Rob
  20. Dear Fellow Collectors, Hope you are all good. Hoping to get some advice from you all about cleaning up a blade myself. https://www.ebay.com/itm/Japanese-samurai-sword-katana-with-koshirae-tsuka-tsuba-/123183169971?nma=true&si=RKKWZP2A9GTVpzekT9%252BbWeIMNak%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557 I’ve been collecting nihonto, and nihonto books for a good long while, and I have employed professionals to do restoration work in the past numerous times, but I would very much like to try and clean (just clean, not restore, not polish) this sword and koshirae myself. I envision the following goals, and would gladly take advice from anyone who has knowledge of how to achieve these: Clean as much of the rust off of the blade as possible without damaging the jacket steel. —In my mind, sandpaper, wire brushes, steel wool, etc. are NOT options. Those options would certainly be quick, but they would potentially compromise the jacket steel and disfigure the blade. —I am hoping to find some advice about specific chemicals, oils or electrolytic processes, etc. that can be used in combination with “elbow grease”, to slowly work away the rust on the blade and fittings. Ideally these would be chemicals and oils that will not end up “acid etching” the blade in the process. —Electrolysis to remove the rust may not be possible because I don’t want to remove the rust from the nakago, and submerging the entire blade in order to remove the rust on the blade via electrolysis would probably result in that. Submerging it in part could be possible...? I will likely end up leaving the saya the way it is with the exception of cleaning up the kojiri as described above, and the koiguchi as described below. —Do you think I need to remove the kojiri to do this? It seems I would need to given the amount of rust it has picked up, but perhaps not. —I would appreciate any advice about removing the kojiri and reapplying it after cleaning, if people think that is necessary. I will likely keep the tsuka wrapped the way it is. I like the old worn look that it has, and I don’t want to try and do much with that. It looks like it is still tight and was well made at the time. Cleaning the menuki a bit would be nice but if they’re impossible to get out then I’m not going to fuss with it. I would appreciate any advice people would offer about cleaning up the tsuba. I don’t need it to sparkle or be shinsa worthy, but it would be nice if the details of it were a little less obscured. I suspect in this case that just a little bit of cleaning with the right polishing product and an appropriately thick rag would get me to the goal, but I have never really done anything like this myself so I don’t know what the best approach is. The habaki, koiguchi, fuchi, and kashira I think similarly to as the tsuba. I do not have any interest in trying to remove the kashira to clean it. As a point of clarity: I do not think of this blade as a project for the purposes of fixing it up and getting it ready for shinsa. I already have a Nidai Muramasa tanto (passed NTHK-NPO by Miyano, now in line for NBTHK shinsa) and a Ko-Gassan tachi (again, passed NTHK-NPO by Miyano, now being polished by Usuki sensei) so I have enough projects, and I know the difference between a Juyo candidate and a nice old blade that deserve to remain a nice old blade. From what I can see in the photos the seller provided, this is not a gem of a blade anyhow but it is nihonto. It is not a premium length, certainly made later than Shinto, maybe even Edo and maybe in the original koshirae, though I can’t quite tell if the tsuka has two holes in it or just some damage next to the mekugi. I can see a hint of notare in what little is visible of the hamon, obviously mumei, maybe a little bit of machi-okure, has been polished a few times in the past given the declining notch at the hamachi. The end goal here is to make the sword into a respectable but NOT mint condition, NOT shinsa worthy, example of an old working blade. I don’t want to make it into a museum piece here folks, I just want to honor it by getting it back into appreciable condition, preserve it further, and not have to spend thousands of dollars doing it. Any advice you might have to help me achieve this goal would be appreciated. Thank you! John A. Shea, MD
  21. Hey there, As I'm quite new in the nihonto world I require som advice regarding a wakizashi. Certificate: NTHK (Nihon Token Hozon Kai) Certificate date: 16/7-2017 Signed by: Chief Executive Officer Teiji Miyano Forge: TOMOYUKI Province: Bungo School: Takada Era: Muromachi Year: Bunei 1469-1486 Leaf style: Shinogi Zukuri Iorimune Kitae Itame Hamon: Suguha komaru gaeri Mekugi ana: 1 Full Length: 65.5cm Wakizashi: 63.5cm (sword) Nagasa: 43.5cm (cutting section on the blade) Sori: 1.1cm (curvature) Tsuka: 18cm (handle) It is offered at 1600 usd. I would be very grateful If there was anyone who could give there input. Thank very much. Lukas Gerdin
  22. This is a *very* indepth and informative thread on just how different lubricants, gun oils and other similar products perform for protecting metals. Worth a read and compare with your own experiences using some on swords. https://www.shootersforum.com/gun-cleaning/91566-results-gun-care-product-evaluation.html I thought the staining and corrosive tests were particularly relevant due to the different and delicate materials found in Japanese swords. Some of the more aggressive gun cleaning products and oils are good for cleaning martial arts swords but none of us would dream of using them on Nihonto.
  23. This sword was owned by my grandfather. The fuchi, kashira, tsuba and shito-dome are iron. The blade length is 22" to the mune-machi. There is no signature that I can see. Would this blade be appropriate for practicing Iado or katas? The wood tsuka core is cracked through the menuki-ana, and the ito and same are badly deteriorated. I want to use the existing menuki, fuchi and kashira to build a new tsuka, although I do feel kind of bad about unwrapping the old handle. Right now there is no way to secure the blade due to the crack in the old tsuka. I'm interested in any information about the origins of the blade and koshirae. Thank you very much!
  24. 1 old 14th Century Japanese Samurai sword available. There are 4 holes in the nakago. The kissaki was just as rusty as the rest of the front portion of the sword before it was worked on. And a healthy boshi was revealed. So rust removal was successful in this area. The rest hasn't been worked on yet. I just paid to have the boshi proven. This sword is priced so that once you put in your time polishing, there is good money to be made when selling it. This is a good sword for an amateur or professional polisher. The blade measures 24 13/16" (63 cm) from blade tip to notch in the blade spine. This sword has a brand new, $400 Japanese-made shirasaya. $1600 --Matt Brice
  25. Yves55

    Waves

    I hate to touch old (?) pieces, but the back side of this tsuba may need some restoration... What do you think? For me it's like a black lacquer. Any suggestions? 82 x 74 x 3,5 mm - iron - 138 gr.
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