SKT_2_pp_333-343_Indep_Mvmt

SKT_2_pp_333-343_Indep_Mvmt - Introduction to Asian...

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Unformatted text preview: Introduction to Asian Civilizations I S OUTCQS Of KOTQCZTZ TTdditiOTl WM. THEODORE DE BARY, GENERAL EDITOR VOLUME 11: FROM THE SIXTEENTH TO THE ‘ TWENTIETVH CENTURIES sources ofIapanese Tradition (1958; 2nd ed" 2001) 2 Edited by YOng-ho Ch’oe, Peter H. Lee, and Wm. Theodore d2 Bary Sources of Indian Tradition (1958; 2nd ed., 1988) WITH THE COLLABORATION OF Sources of Chinese Tradition Donald Baker, JaHyun Kim Haboush, and Han-Kyo Kim (1960; issued in 2 vols., 1964; vol. 1, 2nd ed., 1999; V01. 2., 2nd ed., 2000) ; and contributions by Martina Deuchler, John Duncan, Michael Kalton, Sources of Korean Tradition ‘ Fujiya Kawashinla, Yong Choon Kim, James B. Palais, (vol. 1, 1997; vol. 2, 2001) Mark Peterson, and Mark Setton 1 I‘l i COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY PRESS i NEW YORK 332 THE MODERN PERIOD innovation. At the same time, under the conditions of colonial rule the external stimuli triggered a renewed awareness of Korea’s own national heritage and 1dent1ty. Slrnilar developments may be observed in the former colonies of the West. Korea’s experience was at once unique yet parallel to the worldwide pattern of developing nationalism in the modern age. Chapter 34 THE NATIONALIST MOVEMENT For thirty-five years, from August 1910 until August 1945, Japan occupied Korea and imposed a harsh colonial rule that was supported by the presence of pow- erful army, gendarmerie, and police forces. At the apex of the colonial hierarchy was a governor—general who had a wide range of executive, legislative, and judicial powers and, until 1919, command authority over the military forces as well. Of the nine men who served as governor-general, one was a navy admiral, and all the others were army generals. Five of them were appointed prime minister of Japan either before or after their Korean tour. They reported directly to the Japanese emperor through the prime minister, an arrangement that re- flected their‘status in Korea as a virtual “king.” The colonial bureaucracy was a tightly knit hierarchy governed in part by cer- tain laws of Japan butrnostly by administrative ordinances issued by the governor- general. As Japanese officials filled an overwhelming majority of higher exec— utive posts, there was only token participation of Korean bureaucrats. No elective assemblies were created during this colonial period, and Koreans had no opportunity to elect their representatives at any level of administration. The ultimate purposs: of the Japanese administration was twofold: to per- petuate Japanese rule and to develop Korea as a source of human and material resources for the expanding empire of Japan. Politics that purportedly sought these ends were, however, often contradictory. Officially the Japanese colonial 334 THE MODERN PERIOD regime called for a full amalgamation of the two peoples; but in fact it sup- pressed, exploited, and discriminated against the Korean people. Economically, Japanese capital, know-how, and managerial skills brought about moderniza— tion, with the development of heavy industries taking place primarily after the Manchurian incident of 1931. In the Japanese scheme, the Korean economy was to integrate with and complement Japan’s economy. To say that the eco- nomic and social well-being of the Korean people per se was not Japan’s ulti- mate objective would be an understatement. At the same time, it cannot be denied that Korea went through a modernizing metamorphosis. It is customary to divide the colonial years into three periods: 1910—1919, 1920—1931, 1931—1945. During the first period, the primary objective of the co- lonial administration was to bring about the complete submission of Koreans to the new ruler. A harsh military rule based on brute force was the means to this end. The so-called Conspiracy Case of 1911 that sent one hundred and five Korean nationalists to torture and imprisonment on the false charge of plotting to assassinate the first Japanese governor-general was typical of the policy of intimidation and suppression. Freedom of the press, association, and assembly were severely curtailed. Most Korean newspapers were closed down, and all organizations that had been active in the patriotic enlightenment movement were disbanded. Public assemblies, including children’s athletic events on pri- mary school playgrounds, had to be approved in advance. Private schools were taken over and converted to public schools in order to turn out subjects loyal to the Japanese emperor. A 1911 rule on business incorporation encouraged Japanese entrepreneurs and discouraged Koreans from launching business ca- reers. A land survey of 1910—1918 required formal registration of landownership or leases. When many Korean landowners and tenants failed to register due to fear or ignorance, they lost their long—standing rights to the land. This benefited newly arriving Japanese settlers and large-scale commercial farmers. The Jap— anese gendarmerie exercised civil police powers, thereby becoming the ubiq- uitous object of fear and hatred. Koreans who were dispossessed or otherwise could not endure the colonial rule left Korea for China, particularly southeastern Manchuria, and the Russian Maritime Province. Along the northeastern border of Korea, a number of Ko- rean armed groups were organized to continue the armed resistance against Japan. Within Korea armed struggle ceased rather quickly, but underground activities for the nation’s independence continued. THE MARCH FIRST MOVEMENT The March First movement of 1919 would not have been possible had it not been for the widespread and intense antipathy against Japanese colonialism. It The Nationalist Movement 335 is true that President Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points declaration had raised Korean hopes for national self-determination. It is also true that ex—Emperor Kojong’s death and impending funeral in early March 1919 helped mobilize the crowd. In the final analysis, however, the millions of Koreans who paraded through the streets all over Korea shouting “manse” (long live Korean indepen- dence) did so because of their wish to end the degrading and harsh alien rule. Without doubt, it was the most massive demonstration of nationalism in the modern history of Korea. But preparations for the demonstration involved only a handful of activists and a surprisingly short period of time. First there was a meeting of Korean students in Tokyo on 8 February 1919 where a declaration of Korean independence was read aloud. An eloquent statement declaring Ko- rea’s independence to the world, the first selection in this chapter, was quickly drafted by Ch’oe Namson, and thirty-three "representatives of the Korean peo- ple” (sixteen Christians, fifteen leaders of Ch’ondogyo, and two Buddhists) signed it. At noon on 1 March the declaration was read at a large gathering of students in Seoul’s Pagoda Park, signaling the beginning of nationwide demonstrations that mobilized men and women of all ages and social backgrounds. Taken by surprise, the Japanese police and troops reacted with fury. But despite a large number of casualties, the massive wave of demonstrations went on for months. Official Japanese figures listed over one million participants in 3,200 demon- strations, resulting in about 20,000 arrests.1 Korean sources give much higher estimates: more than two million participants in the first three months alone, almost 47,000 arrests, 7,509 deaths, and 15,961 injured among the demonstrators.2 The impact of the March First movement was profound and long—lasting, although it failed to achieve its stated aim of Korean independence. It was a powerfiil, if costly, display of Korean nationalism that belied the Japanese pro— fession of benevolence and goodwill toward the colonized people. Worldwide publicity and criticism of the colonial system in Korea led directly to certain measures of appeasement, the self—styled “Cultural Policy,” from the newly ap- pointed Japanese g0venror-ger1eral. One of the best known of these measures was the partial lifting of the ban against Korean language newspapers. The Tonga ilbo (East Asia Daily) and the Chosen ilbo (Korea Daily) began publication. 1. An official report entitled “The Ideology and Movement of the Korean Disturbances (Cho— sen sojé jiken)” prepared by the Secretarial Office of the Governor—General appears in Japan Provost Marshal in Korea, ed., Chosen sanichi dakuritsu 851'6 jileen (March ist independence disturbances in Korea), reprinted by Gannando shoten (Tokyo, 1969), p. 438. 2. Munhwa sa, pp. 284, 288; Pak Usik, Hanguk tongnz'p undong chi hyolsa (Shanghai: Wei- hsinshe, 1920), 2:26—43. 336 THE MODERN PERIOD The March First movement also spurred patriotic Koreans overseas to re— double their ePforts. A Korean national congress was organized near Vladivostok on 17 March 1919 by the representatives of more than half a million Korean residents in Manchuria and Siberia, and it proceeded to name the leaders of a provisional government. Similar efforts toward creating a government council and adopting a constitution were made at a secret conference of provincial representatives meeting in Seoul in April 1919. Earlier in the same month, in the relative safety of the French concession area in Shanghai, dozens of Korean activists had gathered for a series of meetings that proclaimed the establishment of a provisional government of the “Korean Republic” (Taehan Minguk). The conferees—men of diverse social and ideological backgrounds—selected yet another slate of cabinet officials and proclaimed another constitution, the sec- ond selection presented in this chapter. The Shanghai organization proved to be more broadly based and durable than the others, and until 1945 it served as the rallying point for the Korean independence movement. The provisional constitution adopted in Shanghai provided for a republican form of government consisting of a legislative council and an executive council, the former to be headed by Yi Tongnyong and the latter by Yi Si‘ingman (Syng- man Rhee). In order to maintain close contacts with nationalists in Korea, the provisional government established a clandestine communication network. Moreover, it sent emissaries to present the Korean case before various inter- national gatherings, including the Versailles Peace Conference, and created a commission for Europe and America (Kumi wiwé’mhoe).3 The provisional gov- ernment also established military headquarters in southern Manchuria in prep- aration for armed conflict with Japan. In August 1919 it began publishing a paper, Tongnip sinmum (The Independence News).4 SON PYoNoHfiI AND OTHERS: DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE [From Korean Studies 13:1—4] The Declaration of Independence, dated 1 March 1919, was drafted in a few days by a twenty-nine—year—old scholar-publisher, Ch’oe Namson (1890—1957). Ch’oe himself did not Sign the declaration, however, professing a disinclination to become openly 3. The text of “The Petition of the Korean People and Nation for Liberation from Japan and the Reconstitution of Korea as an Independent State" submitted to the Versailles Conference by Kiusic Kimm (Kim Kyusik) appears in Donald G. Tewksbury, comp, Source Materials on Korean Politics and Ideologies (New York: International Secretariat, Institute of Pacific Relations, 1950), pp- 56-63- 4. Munhwa sa, pp. 290—291. The Nationalist Movement 337 involved in the national independence movement. All the same, he was imprisoned for nearly three years after the March First movement. He devoted most of his later years to writing Korean history, but his wartime collaboration with the Japanese tainted his image in Korean eyes. The declaration is written in a literary form that was modern by 1919 standards but relied heavily on the classical Chinese style of writing in which Ch’oe excelled. The list of signatories began with the name of Son Pyonghfii, the Ch’ondogyo leader. The “pledges” were allegedly drafted and appended to the Dec— laration of Independence by Han Yongun (1879—1944), a Buddhist leader and one of the thirty-three signers of the declaration. We hereby declare that Korea is an independent state and that Koreans are a self-governing people. We proclaim it to the nations of the world in affirmation of the principle of the equality of all nations, and we proclaim it to our posterity, preserving in perpetuity the right of national survival. We make this declaration on the strength of five thousand years of history as an expression of the devotion and loyalty of twenty million people. We claim independence in the interest of the eternal and free development of our people and in accordance with the great movement for world reform based upon the awakening conscience of mankind. This is the clear command of heaven, the course of our times, and a legitimate manifestation of the right of all nations to coexist and live in har- mony. Nothing in the world can suppress or block it. For the first time in several thousand years, we have suffered the agony of alien suppression for a decade, becoming a victim of the policies of aggression and coercion, which are relics from a bygone era. How long have we been deprived of our right to exist? How long has our spiritual development been hampered? How long have the opportunities to contribute our creative vitality to the development of world cultufe been denied us? Alas! In order to rectify p‘ast grievances, free ourselves from present hardships, eliminate future threats, stimulate and enhance the weakened conscience of our people, eradicate the shame that befell our nation, ensure proper devel- opment of human dignity, avoid leaving humiliating legacies to our children, and usher in lasting and complete happiness for our posterity, the most urgent task is to firmly establish national independence. Today when human nature and conscience are placing the forces of justice and humanity on our side, if every one of our twenty million people arms himself for battle, whom could we not defeat and what could we not accomplish? We do not intend to accuse Japan of infidelity for its violation of various solemn treaty obligations since the Treaty of Amity of 1876. Japan’s scholars and officials, indulging in a conqueror’s exuberance, have denigrated the accom- plishments of our ancestors and treated our civilized people like barbarians. Despite their disregard for the ancient origins of our society and the brilliant spirit of our people, we shall not blame Japan; we must first blame ourselves 338 THE MODERN PERIOD the problems of today, we cannot afford the time for recriminations over past wrongs. Our task today is to build up our own strength, not to destroy others. We must chart a new course for ourselves in accord with the solemn dictates of conscience, not malign and reject others for reasons of past enmity or momen- tary passions. In order to restore natural and just conditions, we must remedy the unnatural and unjust conditions brought about by the leaders of japan, who are chained to old ideas and old forces and victimized by their obsession with glory. From the outset the union of the two countries did not emanate from the wishes of the people, and its outcome has been oppressive coercion, discrimi- natory injustice, and fabrication of statistical data, thereby deepening the eter- nally irreconcilable chasm of ill will between the two nations. To correct past mistakes and open a new phase of friendship based upon genuine understand— ing and sympathy— is this not the easiest way to avoid disaster and invite bless- ing? The enslavement of twenty million resentful people by force does not c0ntribute to lasting peace in the East. It deepens the fear and suspicion of Japan by the four hundred million Chinese who constitute the main axis for stability in the East, and it will lead to the tragic downfall of all nations in our region. Independence for Korea today shall not only enable Koreans to lead a normal, prosperous life, as is their due; it will also guide japan to leave its evil path and perform its great task of supporting the cause of the East, liberating China from a gnawing uneasiness and fear and helping the cause of world peace and happiness for mankind, which depends greatly on peace in the East. How can this be considered a trivial issue of mere sentiment? Behold! A new world is before our eyes. The days of force are gone, and the days of morality are here. The spirit of humanity, nurtured throughout the past century, has begun casting its rays of new civilization upon human history. A new spring has arrived prompting the myriad forms of life to come to life again. The past was a time of freezing ice and snow, stifling the breath of life; the present is a time of mild breezes and warm sunshine, reinvigorating the spirit. Facing the return of the universal cycle, we set forth on the changing tide of the world. Nothing can make us hesitate or fear. We shall safeguard our inherent right to freedom and enjoy a life of pros- perity; we shall also make use of our creativity, enabling our national essence to blossom in the vernal warmth. We have arisen now. Conscience is on our side, and truth guides our way. All of us, men and women, young and old, have firmly left behind the old nest of darkness and gloom and head for joyful res- urrection together with the myriad living things. The spirits of thousands of generations of our ancestors protect us; the rising tide of world consciousness The Nationalist Movement 339 shall assist us. Once started, we shall surely succeed. With this hope we march forWard. Three Open Pledges Our action today represents the demand of our people for justice, hu— manity, survival, and dignity. It manifests our spirit of freedom and should not engender antiforeign feelings. I ' To the last one of us and to the last moment possrble, we shall unhesr- tatingly publicize the views of our people, as is our right. All our actions should scrupulously uphold publlc order, and our de- mands and our attitudes must be honorable and upright. HKK PROVISIONAL CONSTITUTION OF THE KOREAN GOVERNMENT IN EXILE [From Hanguk tonghip undong sa 3:326] By the will of God, the people of Korea, both from Seoul and the provinces, have united in a peaceful declaration of their independence ln‘the Korean capital and for over a month have carried on their demonstrations in over three hundred districts. A provisional government, organized in complete accord With popular faith, proclaims a provisional constitution that the prowsronal councfl of state has adopted in order to pass on to our posterity the blessmgs ofsovereign independence. 5 PROVISIONAL CONSTITUTION OF THE KOREAN REPUBLIC 1. The Korean Republic shall be a democratic republic. A provisional government shall govern the Korean Republic invacvcor- dance with the decision of a provisional legislative councrl (Im51Uljong- won). I ' There shall be no class distinctions among the c1tlzens of the Korean Republic, and men and women, noble and common, rich and poor, shall have complete equality. 5. The South Korean state is today called "Taehan Minguk” or the Republic of Korea; In order to avoid confusion, the name "Taehan Minguk” that appears here 18 translated as the Korean Republic.” 340 THE MODERN PERIOD 4. The citizens of the Korean Republic shall have personal and property A nghts including the freedoms of faith, speech, writing, publishing, asso- ciation, assembly, and dwelling. 5. A citizen of the Korean Republic, unless disfranchised, shall have the right to vote or to be elected. 6. The citizens of the Korean Republic shall be subject to compulsory edu— cation, taxation, and military conscription. 7. The Korean Republic shall join the League of Nations in order to dem— onstrate to the world that its creation has been in accord with the will of God and also to make a contribution to world civilization and peace. 8. The Korean Republic shall extend favorable treatment to the former imperial family. 9. The death penalty, corporal punishment, and open prostitution shall be abolished. 10. Within one year following the recovery of the national land, the provi- sional government shall convene a national assembly. President, Provisional Legislative Council: Yi Tongnyong Prime Minister, Provisional Government: Syngman Rhee6 Minister of Home Affairs: An Ch’angho Minister of Foreign Affairs: Kim Kyusik Minister of Judicial Affairs: Yi Siyong Minister of Financial Affairs: Ch’oe Chaehyong Minister of Military Affairs: Yi Tonghwi Minister of Transportation: Mun Ch’angborn HKK STRATEGIES FOR REGAINING NATIONAL INDEPENDENCE The strategy for regaining Korea’s independence was an issue of crucial im— portance. It was also a divisive issue that fractionalized the independence move- ment. Basically three alternatives were discussed: diplomacy, armed struggle, and self-strengthening. Diplomacy was to solicit foreign powers’ support for Korea through lobbying, propaganda, and diplomatic representation at inter- national conferences. Syngman Rhee (1875—1965), the first “provisional presi— dent” of the exile government and later the head of its Commission for Europe 6. Syngman Rhee and his cabinet colleagues named here, with only one exception, were not present in Shanghai at that time. Their election is explained as an attempt "to select the most renowned figures among Koreans abroad and thus endow the organization with legitimacy”; see Chong—sik Lee, The Politics of Korean Nationalism, p. 131. The Nationalist Movement 341 and America, was among those who advocated diplomacy. The third selection in this chapter, an appeal to America adopted by members of the First Korean Congress assembled in Philadelphia in April 1919, is an example of these dip- lomatic efforts. An Ch’angho (1878—1938), a widely respected nationalist leader, conceded that armed struggle was necessary. But as a prerequisite to such direct action, An cautioned, Koreans must first build up their own strength through education and mutual cooperation. Sin Ch’aeho (1880—1936), whose fervent nationalism was reflected in his writings on Korean history as discussed in an earlier chapter, was critical of both the “diplomacy” and the “preparation first” strategies. His "Declaration of Korean Revolution,” a manifesto of the Righteous Patriots Corps (Uiyoltan),7 was a strident call for violent struggle against Japan. Organized anti—Japanese military campaigns were centered in the Kando (Chien—tao) region just across the northeastern border of Korea, but there were similar campaigns in other parts of Manchuria and in the Russian Maritime Province. A score of military groups were active at one time or another. General Hong Pt”)me (1868—1943) led a “Korean Independence Army" (Taehan Tong- nip Kun) to victory in the battle at Pongodong in 1920. Later in the same year, General Hong and General Kim Chwajin (1889—1930) led their units in a battle at Ch’ongsanni that dealt a humiliating defeat to a large Japanese forces In China, Korean efforts to create an anti—Japanese army began to bear fruit only after the outbreak of the Sino—Japanese War in 1937. The Provisional Gov- ernment of the Korean Republic, now headed by Kim Ku (1876—1949), created a military commission in 1937 and, with active support from the Nationalist government of China, created the Korean Restoration Army (Hanguk Kwang- bok Kun) in 1940. THE KOREAN CONGRESS IN THE U.S.: AN APPEAL TO AMERICA [From First Korean Congress (Philadelphia 1919), pp. 29—30] Upon hearing the news of the March First movement, Sc”) Chaep’il convened and chaired a three—day meeting in Philadelphia that was attended by about seventy Ko- 7. The Righteous Patriots Corps was an anti—Japanese terrorist organization that was organized after the March First movement by Kim Wonbong (b. 1898), a left-leaning Korean revolutionary. The corps' members were implicated in several bombing attacks on the colonial government offices. On Kim, see Robert A. Scalapino and Chong—sik Lee, Communism in Korea (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1972), 1:173—178 et passim. 8. Munhwa sa, pp. 296—297. 34.2 THE MODERN PERIOD reans residing in the United States, Hawaii, and Mexico. Syngman Rhee was an active parhcrpant in this conference, the avowed purpose of which was to publicize the Korean cause and solicit American sympathy. We, the Koreans in Congress assembled in Philadelphia on 14—16 April 1919, representing eighteen million people of our race who are now suffering untold miseries and barbarous treatment by the Japanese military authorities in Korea, hereby appeal to the great and generous American people. For four thousand years our country enjoyed absolute autonomy. We have our own history, our own language, our own literature, and our own civilization. We have made treaties with the leading nations of the world; all of them rec- ognized our independence, including Japan. In 1904, at the beginning of the Russo-Japanese War, Japan made a treaty of alliance with Korea, guaranteeing the territorial integrity and political indepen- dence of Korea, to cooperate in the war against Russia. Korea was opened to Japan for military purposes and Korea assisted Japan in many ways. After the war was over, Japan discarded the treaty of alliance as a “scrap of paper” and annexed Korea as a conquered territory. Ever since, she has been ruling Korea with that autocratic militarism whose prototype has been well illustrated by Germany in Belgium and northern France. The Korean people patiently suffered under the iron heel of Japan for the last decade or more, but now they have reached the point where they are no longer able to endure it. On 1 March of this year some three million men, mostly of the educated class and composed of Christians, Heaven Worshipers,9 Confucians, Buddhists, students of mission schools, under the leadership of the pastors of the native Christian churches, declared their independence from Japan and formed a provisional government on the border of Manchuria. Through the news dispatches and through private telegrams we are informed that so far thirty-two thousand Korean revolutionists have been thrown into dungeons by the Japanese, and over one hundred thousand men, women, and children have been killed or wounded. The Koreans have no weapons with which to fight, as the Japanese had taken everything away from them since the annexation, even pistols and fowling pieces. What resistance they are offering now against the Japanese soldiers and gendarmerie is with pitchforks and sickles. In spite of this disadvantage and the horrible casualties among the Koreans, these people are keeping up their resistance, and this demonstration is now nationwide, including nearly all provinces. Japan has declared martial law in Korea and is butchering these unfortunate but patriotic people by the thousands every day. 9. Refers to the Ch't’mdogyo believers. The Nationalist Movement 343 The Koreans in the United States and Hawaii have sent their representatives to Philadelphia, the Cradle of Liberty, to formulate a concerted plan with a view to stop this inhuman treatment of their brethren by the “Asiatic Kaiser," and to devise ways and means to help along the great cause of freedom and justice for our native land. We appeal to you for support and sympathy because we know you love justice; you also fought for liberty and democracy, and you stand for Christianity and humanity. Our cause is a just one before the laws of God and man. Our aim is freedom from militaristic autocracy; our object is democracy for Asia; our hope is universal Christianity. Therefore we feel that our appeal merits your consideration. You have already championed the cause of the oppressed and held out your helping hand to the weak of the earth’s races. Your nation is the Hope of Man— kind; therefore we come to you. Besides this, we also feel that we have the right to ask your help for the reason that the treaty between the United States and Korea [signed in 1882] contains a stipulation in article 1, paragraph 2, which reads as follows: “If other powers deal unjustly or oppressiver with either government, the other will exert their good offices, on being informed of the case, to bring about an amicable arrangement, thus showing their friendly feelings.” Does riot this agreement make it incumbent upon America to intercede now in Korea’s behalf? V There are many other good and sufficient reasons for America to exert her good offices to bring about an amicable arrangement, but we mention only one more, which is a new principle recently formulated at the peace conference in Paris. We cannot do better than to quote President Wilson’s words, who is one of the founders of this new international obligation. “The principle of the League of Nations is that it is the friendly right of every nation [that is] a member of the League to call attention to any thing that she thinks will disturb the peace of the world, no matter where that thing is occurring. There is no subject that touches the peace of the world that is exempt from inquiry or discussion.” We, therefore, in the name of humanity, liberty, and democracy, in the name of the American-Korean treaty, and in the name of the peace of the world, ask the government of the United States to exert its good offices to save the lives of our freedom—loving brethren in Korea and to protect the American missionaries and their families who are in danger of losing their lives and property on ac— count of their love for our people and their faith in Christ. We further ask you, the great American public, to give us your moral and material help so that our brethren in Korea will know that your sympathy is with them and that you are truly the champions of liberty and international justice. ...
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