|Festival||Shunki Reitaisai (Spring)|
Shuki Reitaisai (Autumn)
|Type|| Chokusaisha |
|Location||3-1-1 Kudankita, Chiyoda, Tokyo 102-8246|
Copper roofing (dōbanbuki)
|Date established||June 1869|
|Glossary of Shinto|
Yasukuni Shrine (靖国神社 or靖國神社, Yasukuni Jinja, lit. Peaceful Country) is a Shinto shrine located in Chiyoda, Tokyo. It was founded by Emperor Meiji in June 1869 and commemorates those who died in service of Japan from the Boshin War of 1868–1869 through the First Indochina War of 1946–1954. The shrine's purpose has been expanded over the years to include those who died in the wars involving Japan spanning from the entire Meiji and Taishō periods, and the earlier part of the Shōwa period.
The shrine lists the names, origins, birthdates, and places of death of 2,466,532 men, women, children, and various pet animals. Among those are 1,068 convicted war criminals, 14 of whom are A-Class (convicted of having been involved in the planning, preparation, initiation, or waging of the war). This has led to many controversies surrounding the shrine. Another memorial at the Honden (main hall) building commemorates anyone who died on behalf of Japan, but includes Koreans and Taiwanese who served Japan at the time. In addition, the Chinreisha ("Spirit Pacifying Shrine") building is a shrine built to inter the souls of all the people who died during WWII, regardless of their nationality. It is located directly south of the Yasukuni Honden.
Various Shinto festivals are associated with the shrine, particularly in the spring and autumn seasons when portable Mikoshi shrines are rounded about honoring the ancestral gods of Japan. A notable image of the shrine is the Japanese Imperial Chrysanthemum featured on the gate curtains leading into the shrine. The current 13th High Priest incumbent of the shrine is Tatebumi Yamaguchi, who was appointed on 1 November 2018 after Kunio Kobori.
The site for the Yasukuni Shrine, originally named Tōkyō Shōkonsha (東京招魂社, "shrine to summon the souls"), was chosen by order of the Meiji Emperor. The shrine was established in 1869, in the wake of the Boshin War, in order to honor the souls of those who died fighting for the Emperor. It initially served as the "apex" of a network of similar shrines throughout Japan that had originally been established for the souls of various feudal lords' retainers, and which continued to enshrine local individuals who died in the Emperor's service. Following the 1877 Satsuma Rebellion, the Emperor had 6,959 souls of war dead enshrined at Tōkyō Shōkonsha. In 1879, the shrine was renamed Yasukuni Jinja. The name Yasukuni, quoted from the phrase「吾以靖國也 in the classical-era Chinese text Zuo Zhuan (Scroll 6, 23rd Year of Duke Xi), literally means "Pacifying the Nation" and was chosen by the Meiji Emperor. The name is formally written as 靖國神社, using the kyūjitai character forms common before the end of the Pacific War.
The enshrinement of war dead at Yasukuni was transferred to military control in 1887. As the Empire of Japan expanded, Okinawans, Ainu, and Koreans were enshrined at Yasukuni alongside ethnic Japanese. Emperor Meiji refused to allow the enshrinement of Taiwanese due to the organized resistance that followed the Treaty of Shimonoseki, but Taiwanese were later admitted due to the need to conscript them during World War II. [ clarification needed ][ opinion ]In 1932, two Sophia University (Jochi Daigaku) Catholic students refused visit to Yasukuni Shrine on the grounds that it was contrary to their religious convictions. In 1936, the Society for the Propagation of the Faith (Propaganda Fide) of the Roman Curia issued the Instruction Pluries Instanterque, and approved visits to Yasukuni Shrine as an expression of patriotic motive. This response of the Catholic Church helped the Jesuit university avoid a fateful crisis, but it meant its bowing down to the military power and control by Emperor system.
By the 1930s, the military government sought centralized state control over memorialization of the war dead, giving Yasukuni a more central role. Enshrinements at Yasukuni were originally announced in the government's Official Gazette so that the souls could be treated as national heroes, but this practice ended in April 1944, and the identities of the spirits were subsequently concealed from the general public.The shrine had a critical role in military and civilian morale during the war era as a symbol of dedication to the Emperor. Enshrinement at Yasukuni signified meaning and nobility to those who died for their country. During the final days of the war, it was common for soldiers sent on kamikaze suicide missions to say that they would "meet again at Yasukuni" following their death. After World War II, the US-led Occupation Authorities (known as GHQ) issued the Shinto Directive, which ordered the separation of church and state and forced Yasukuni Shrine to become either a secular government institution or a religious institution independent from the Japanese government. Yasukuni Shrine has been privately funded and operated since 1946, when it was elected to become an individual religious corporation independent of the Association of Shinto Shrines. The GHQ planned to burn down the Yasukuni Shrine and build a dog race course in its place. However, Father Bruno Bitter of the Roman Curia and Father Patrick Byrne of Maryknoll insisted to GHQ that honoring their war dead is the right and duty of citizens everywhere, and GHQ decided not to destroy the Yasukuni shrine. Moreover, the Roman Curia reaffirmed the Instruction Pluries Instanterque in 1951.
The shrine authorities and the Ministry of Health and Welfare established a system in 1956 for the government to share information with the shrine regarding deceased war veterans. Most of Japan's war dead who were not already enshrined at Yasukuni were enshrined in this manner by April 1959.War criminals prosecuted by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East were initially excluded from enshrinement after the war. Government authorities began considering their enshrinement, along with providing veterans' benefits to their survivors, following the signature of the Treaty of San Francisco in 1951, and in 1954 directed some local memorial shrines to accept the enshrinement of war criminals from their area. No convicted war criminals were enshrined at Yasukuni until after the parole of the last remaining incarcerated war criminals in 1958. The Health and Welfare Ministry began forwarding information on Class B and Class C war criminals (those not involved in the planning, preparation, initiation, or waging of the war) to Yasukuni Shrine in 1959, and these individuals were gradually enshrined between 1959 and 1967, often without permission from surviving family members. Information on the fourteen most prominent Class A war criminals, which included the prime ministers and top generals from the war era, was forwarded to the shrine in 1966, and the shrine passed a resolution to enshrine these individuals in 1970. The timing for their enshrinement was left to the discretion of head priest Fujimaro Tsukuba, who delayed the enshrinement through his death in March 1978. His successor Nagayoshi Matsudaira, who rejected the Tokyo war crimes tribunal's verdicts, enshrined the Class A war criminals in a secret ceremony in 1978. Emperor Hirohito, who visited the shrine as recently as 1975, was privately displeased with the action, and subsequently refused to visit the shrine. The details of the enshrinement of war criminals eventually became public in 1979, but there was minimal controversy about the issue for several years. No Emperor of Japan has visited Yasukuni since 1975, although the Emperor and Empress still continue to attend the National Memorial Service for War Dead annually. The head-priest Junna Nakata at Honzen-ji Temple (of the Shingon sect Daigo-ha) requested the pontiff Pope Paul VI to say a Mass for the repose of the souls of all people in the Yasukuni, which would include the 1,618 men condemned as Class A, B and C war criminals, and he promised to do so. In 1980, Pope John Paul II complied, and a mass was held in St. Peter's Basilica for all the fallen civilians and fallen dead worshiped in the shrine. The museum and website of the Yasukuni Shrine have made statements criticizing the United States for "convincing" the Empire of Japan to launch the Attack on Pearl Harbor just in order to justify war with them, as well as claiming that Japan went to war with the intention of creating a "Co-Prosperity Sphere" for all Asians.
See details on related controversy in Controversies surrounding Yasukuni Shrine.
A January 2014 poll by the conservative-leaning Sankei Shimbun found that only 38.1% of respondents approved of the most recent visit by Abe, while 53% disapproved, a majority of whom cited harm to Japan's foreign relations as their reason. At the same time, 67.7% of respondents said they were not personally convinced by Chinese and Korean criticism of the visit.However, another poll in 2015 by Genron NPO found that 15.7% of respondents disapproved of visits in general by Prime Ministers while 66% of respondents saw no problem, particularly if they were done in private (which was a decrease from 68.2% the year before).
There are over 2,466,000 enshrined kami (deities) listed in the Yasukuni's Symbolic Registry of Divinities. This list includes soldiers, as well as women and students who were involved in relief operations in the battlefield or worked in factories for the war effort.There are neither ashes nor spirit tablets in the shrine. Enshrinement is not exclusive to people of Japanese descent. Yasukuni Shrine has enshrined 27,863 Taiwanese and 21,181 Koreans. Many more kami – those who fought in opposition to imperial Japan, as well as all war dead regardless of nationality – are enshrined at Chinreisha.
As a general rule, the enshrined are limited to military personnel who were killed while serving Japan during armed conflicts. Civilians who were killed during a war are not included, apart from a handful of exceptions. A deceased must fall into one of the following categories for enshrinement in the honden:
Although new names of soldiers killed during World War II are added to the shrine list every year, no one who was killed due to conflicts after Japan signed the San Francisco Peace Treaty that formally ended World War II in 1951 has been qualified for enshrinement. Therefore, the shrine does not include members of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces which was established after the peace treaty.
Enshrinement is carried out unilaterally by the shrine without consultation of surviving family members and in some cases against the stated wishes of the family members. Some families from foreign countries such as South Korea have requested that their relatives be delisted on the grounds that enshrining someone against their beliefs in life constitutes an infringement of the Constitution. [ citation needed ]The Yasukuni priesthood, however, has stated that once a kami is enshrined, it has been 'merged' with the other kami occupying the same seat and therefore cannot be separated.
Japan has participated in 16 other conflicts since the Boshin War in 1869. The following table chronologically lists the number of people enshrined as kami at the honden (as of October 17, 2004) from each of these conflicts.
|Conflict||Description||Year(s)||Number of enshrined||Notes|
|Boshin War and Meiji Restoration||Japanese civil war||1867–1869||7,751|
|Satsuma Rebellion||Japanese civil war||1877||6,971|
|Taiwan Expedition of 1874||Conflict with Paiwan people (Taiwanese aborigines)||1874||1,130|
|Ganghwa Island incident||Conflict with Joseon Army||1875||2|
|Imo Incident||Conflict with Joseon Rebel Army over Korea||1882||14|
|Gapsin Coup||a failed 3-day coup d'état in the late Joseon Dynasty of Korea||1884||6|
|First Sino-Japanese War||Conflict with Qing China over Korea||1894–95||13,619|
|Boxer Uprising||Eight-Nation Alliance's invasion of China||1901||1,256|
|Russo-Japanese War||Conflict with Russian Empire over Korea and Manchuria||1904–05||88,429|
|World War I||Conflict with German Empire (Central Powers) over Mediterranean Sea and Shandong, a Chinese province||1914–1918||4,850|
|Battle of Qingshanli||Conflict with the Korean Independence Army over Korea||1920||11|
|Jinan Incident||Conflict with the Kuomintang of China over Jinan, the capital of Shandong province||1928||185|
|Wushe Incident||The last major uprising against colonial Japanese forces in Taiwan||1930||Unknown|
|Nakamura Incident||The extrajudicial killing of Imperial Japanese Army Captain Shintarō Nakamura and three others, on 27 June 1931 by Chinese soldiers in Manchuria||1931||19|
|Mukden Incident||Leading to the occupation of Manchuria||1931–1937||17,176|
|Second Sino-Japanese War||Conflict with China||1937–1941||191,250|
| World War II Pacific theatre |
(including Indochina War )
|Conflict with the Allied forces and involvement in the Pacific theater (including Class A, B, & C War Criminals, and Forced labor of Japanese in the Soviet Union)|
(Conflict with France )
The Yasukuni shrine does not include the Tokugawa shogunate's forces (particularly from the Aizu domain) or rebel forces who died during the Boshin War or Satsuma Rebellion because they are considered enemies of the emperor. They are enshrined at Chinreisha. [ citation needed ]This exclusion, which includes the ancestors of former Chief Priest Toshiaki Nanbu (2004–2009), is deeply resented in both areas.
There are a multitude of facilities within the 6.25 hectare grounds of the shrine, as well as several structures along the 4 hectare causeway. Though other shrines in Japan also occupy large areas, Yasukuni is different because of its recent historical connections. The Yūshūkan museum is just the feature that differentiate Yasukuni from other Shinto shrines. The following lists describe many of these facilities and structures.
On the shrine grounds, there are several important religious structures. The shrine's haiden , Yasukuni's main prayer hall where worshipers come to pray, was originally built in 1901 in styles of Irimoya-zukuri , Hirairi , and Doubanbuki (copper roofing) in order to allow patrons to pay their respects and make offerings. This building's roof was renovated in 1989. The white screens hanging off the ceiling are changed to purple ones on ceremonial occasions.
The honden is the main shrine where Yasukuni's enshrined deities reside. Built in 1872 and refurbished in 1989, it is where the shrine's priests perform Shinto rituals. The building is generally closed to the public.
The building located on the right side of haiden is the Sanshuden (参集殿) (Assembly Hall), which was rebuilt in 2004. Reception and waiting rooms are available for individuals and groups who wish to worship in the Main Shrine.
The building located directly behind the Sanshuden is the Tochakuden (到着殿) (Reception Hall).
The building located directly behind the honden is known as the Reijibo Hōanden (霊璽簿奉安殿) (Repository for the Symbolic Registers of Divinities) built in styles of Kirizuma-zukuri, Hirairi, and Doubanbuki. It houses the Symbolic Registry of Divinities (霊璽簿, Reijibo)—a handmade Japanese paper document that lists the names of all the kami enshrined and worshiped at Yasukuni Shrine. It was built of quakeproof concrete in 1972 with a private donation from Emperor Hirohito.
In addition to Yasukuni's main shrine buildings, there are also two peripheral shrines located on the precinct. Motomiya (元宮) is a small shrine that was first established in Kyoto by sympathizers of the imperial loyalists that were killed during the early weeks of the civil war that erupted during the Meiji Restoration. Seventy years later, in 1931, it was moved directly south of Yasukuni Shrine's honden. Its name, Motomiya ("Original Shrine"), references the fact that it was essentially a prototype for the current Yasukuni Shrine. The second peripheral shrine is the Chinreisha . This small shrine was constructed in 1965, directly south of the Motomiya. It is dedicated to those not enshrined in the honden—those killed by wars or incidents worldwide, regardless of nationality. It has a festival on July 13.
There are several different torii and mon (門) gates located on both the causeway and shrine grounds. When moving through the grounds from east to west, the first torii visitors encounter is the Daiichi Torii (Ōtorii). This large steel structure was the largest torii in Japan when it was first erected in 1921 to mark the main entrance to the shrine. It stands approximately 25 meters tall and 34 meters wide and is the first torii. The current iteration of this torii was erected in 1974 after the original was removed in 1943 due to weather damage. This torii was recently repainted.
The Daini Torii (Seidō Ōtorii) is the second torii encountered on the westward walk to the shrine. It was erected in 1887 to replace a wooden one which had been erected earlier. (神門). A 6-meter tall hinoki cypress gate, it was first built in 1934 and restored in 1994. Each of its two doors bears a Chrysanthemum Crest measuring 1.5 meters in diameter. West of this gate is the Chumon Torii (中門鳥居) (Third Shrine Gate), the last torii visitors must pass underneath before reaching Yasukuni's haiden. It was recently rebuilt of cypress harvested in Saitama Prefecture in 2006.This is the largest bronze torii in Japan. Immediately following the Daini Torii is the shinmon
In addition to the three torii and one gate that lead to the main shrine complex, there are a few others that mark other entrances to the shrine grounds. The Ishi Torii is a large stone torii located on the south end of the main causeway. It was erected in 1932 and marks the entrance to the parking lots.The Kitamon and Minamimon are two areas that mark the north and south entrances, respectively, into the Yasukuni Shrine complex. The Minamimon is marked by a small wooden gateway.
(from Kudanshita Station)
Yasukuni shrine is an individual religious corporation and does not belong to the Association of Shinto Shrines. Gūji (宮司) controls the overall system, and the Gon-gūji (権宮司) assists the Gūji.Yasukuni shrine has departments listed below. The
In 1933, Minister of War Sadao Araki founded the Nihon-tō Tanrenkai (日本刀鍛錬会, Japanese Sword Forging Association) in the grounds of the shrine to preserve old forging methods and promote Japan's samurai traditions, as well as to meet the huge demand for guntō (military swords) for officers.[ citation needed ] About 8,100 "Yasukuni swords" were manufactured in the grounds of the Yasukuni Shrine between 1933 and 1945.[ citation needed ]
Meiji Shrine, is a Shinto shrine in Shibuya, Tokyo, that is dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shōken. The shrine does not contain the emperor's grave, which is located at Fushimi-momoyama, south of Kyoto.
A Shinto shrine is a structure whose main purpose is to house ("enshrine") one or more kami. Its most important building is used for the safekeeping of sacred objects and not for worship. Although only one word ("shrine") is used in English, in Japanese, Shinto shrines may carry any one of many different, non-equivalent names like gongen, -gū, jinja, jingū, mori, myōjin, -sha, taisha, ubusuna or yashiro.
State Shintō was Imperial Japan's ideological use of the Japanese folk traditions of Shinto. The state strongly encouraged Shinto practices to emphasize the Emperor as a divine being, which was exercised through control of shrine finances and training regimes for priests.
Suwa Grand Shrine, historically also known as Suwa Shrine or Suwa Daimyōjin (諏訪大明神), is a group of Shinto shrines in Nagano Prefecture, Japan. The shrine complex is the ichinomiya of former Shinano Province and is considered to be one of the oldest shrines in existence, being implied by the Nihon Shoki to already stand in the late 7th century.
Hikawa Shrine is a Japanese Shinto shrine in Ōmiya-ku, Saitama, Saitama Prefecture. Surrounding the shrine is a large park in which there are many cherry blossom trees, a zoo and a museum.
Chinreisha is a small wooden Shinto shrine located directly south of Yasukuni Shrine's honden in Yasukuni Shrine precinct. It was built in 1965 after a proposition by Yasukuni's main priest, Fujimaro Tsukuba and has an annual festival held on July 13. In 1975, a steel fence was erected around the shrine and it was closed off to the public. This came after an incident on Hokkaidō a year earlier where a shrine was set on fire and after the chief priest at Yasukuni had received intelligence that unknown persons were planning to destroy the Chinreisha. It was re-opened for worshipers on October 12, 2006 to spread the spirit of cherishing allies and enemies alike and remembering all the war dead around the world.
Ōhi Shrine, also known as Funabashi Daijingū (船橋大神宮), is a Shinto shrine dedicated to the sun goddess Amaterasu located in the city of Funabashi in Chiba Prefecture, Japan.
The Ōgon Shrine also known as the Jinguashi Shinto Shrine, Gold Temple or Spirits of the Mountain Shrine is a Shinto shrine located halfway up a mountain in the Gold Ecological Park in Jinguashi, Ruifang District, New Taipei City, Taiwan
Ōgamiyama Jinja is a Shinto shrine, in Daisen, Tottori, Japan. A number of its structures have been designated Important Cultural Properties.
The Association of Shinto Shrines is a religious administrative organisation that oversees about 80,000 Shinto shrines in Japan. These shrines take the Ise Grand Shrine as the foundation of their belief.
There are major controversies surrounding Yasukuni Shrine, a Japanese Shinto shrine to war dead who served the Emperor of Japan during wars from 1867–1951. The controversies involve civilians in service and government officials. Yasukuni is a shrine to house the actual souls of the dead as kami, or "spirits/souls" as loosely defined in the English words. This activity was strictly a religious matter due to the religious separation of State Shinto and the Japanese Government. The priesthood at the shrine has complete religious autonomy to decide to whom and how enshrinement may occur. It is thought that enshrinement is permanent and irreversible by the current clergy. Due to the enshrinement of individuals found to be war criminals by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East and an approach to the war museum considered by some to be nationalist, China, South Korea and North Korea have called the Yasukuni Shrine a microcosm of a revisionist and unapologetic approach to Japanese crimes of World War II.
Kanda Shrine, is a Shinto shrine located in Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan. The shrine dates back 1,270 years, but the current structure was rebuilt several times due to fire and earthquakes. It is situated in one of the most expensive estate areas of Tokyo. Kanda Shrine was an important shrine to both the warrior class and citizens of Japan, especially during the Edo period, when shōgun Tokugawa Ieyasu paid his respects at Kanda Shrine. Due in part to the proximity of the Kanda Shrine to Akihabara, the shrine has become a mecca for technophiles who frequent Akihabara.
Nezu Shrine is a Shinto shrine located in the Bunkyō ward of Tokyo, Japan.
The Chichibu Shrine is a Japanese Shinto shrine at Chichibu in Saitama Prefecture.
Shinto architecture is the architecture of Japanese Shinto shrines.
Ōmiwa Shrine, also known as Miwa Shrine, is a Shinto shrine located in Sakurai, Nara Prefecture, Japan. The shrine is noted because it contains no sacred images or objects because it is believed to serve Mount Miwa, the mountain on which it stands. For the same reason, it has a worship hall, but no place for the deity to be housed. In this sense, it is a model of what the first Shinto shrines were like. Ōmiwa Shrine is one of the oldest extant Shinto shrines in Japan and the site has been sacred ground for some of the earliest religious practices in Japan. Because of this, it has sometimes been named as Japan's first shrine. Ōmiwa Shrine is a tutelary shrine of the Japanese sake brewers.
Tsushima Shrine is a Shinto shrine in Tsushima, Aichi Prefecture, Japan. It is the head shrine of a nation-wide shrine network of shrines dedicated to the Tsushima Cult, Centered primarily in the Tōkai region, this network has approximately 3,000 shrines, and is the tenth-largest network in the country. The main kami of this faith are Gozutennō, the god of pestilences, and Susanoo, two deities which have been conflated together. For this reason, like other shrines of the network it is also called Tsushima Gozutennō-sha.
Omi Jingu or Omi Shrine is a Jingū shinto shrine in Ōtsu, a city in Shiga Prefecture, Japan. It was constructed in 1940 and is dedicated to Emperor Tenji. It was formerly an imperial shrine of the first rank in the Modern system of ranked Shinto Shrines.
During Japan's colonial period the emperor was the sovereign and religious power, and commanded its armies. The populations of Japan and its colonies were all regarded as his servants, with a moral duty "to dedicate themselves to the emperor and the state in times of national crisis, with no regard for their own lives." Soldiers who died during these wars, which were considered holy, were an example to the nation and it was the responsibility of the Yasukuni shrine to raise military morale and foster the spiritual mobilisation of the nation for war.
The Japanese soldiers who fought in World War II willingly went to their death shouting "Long live the Emperor!" and they reminded each other that they would meet again at Yasukuni after they died. Hanging here and there from the cherry trees in the garden in front of Yushukan are wooden placards bearing the names of Japanese military units.
As part of the reforms initiated by GHQ, in February 1946 some 86,000 of the total of approximately 106,000 Shinto Shrines were merged into Jinja Honcho (the Association of Shinto Shrines) to form a private religious corporation. ... Yasukuni Shrine, however, chose to become an individual religious corporation keeping itself apart from the Association of Shinto Shrines, on the ground that its function under the imperial regime had been completely different from other Shinto shrines. ... In November 1946, GHQ decided to allow that the precinct of national property where religious facilities were located to be transferred to each facility as a private organization, but this decision did not apply to Yasukuni Shrine and other militaristic shrines. It was only after the peace treaty was effectuated in 1952 that the status of Yasukuni Shrine as a private religious corporation was finally established.
The Prime Minister has stated clearly that the purpose of his visits to the shrine is that he does not visit for the sake of the Class-A war criminals, and that Japan accepted the results of the International Military Tribunal for the Far East. He has acknowledged that Japan, "through its colonial rule and aggression, caused tremendous damage and suffering to the people of many countries, particularly to those of Asian nations."
Statement by Prime Minister Abe "Pledge for everlasting peace"
p.2 left p.6 left 陸軍外務両者上申故陸軍工兵中尉堀本禮造外二名並朝鮮国二於テ戦死ノ巡査及公使館雇ノ者等靖国神社ヘ合祀ノ事
『第1511号 7.4.23 靖国神社臨時大祭祭式次第書並に先着諸員の件（2）』（1932年（昭和7年）4月23日） （防衛省防衛研究所>海軍>海軍省公文備考類>昭和7年>公文備考 昭和7年 C 儀制 巻7）
The newly renovated Yushukan that opened in 2002 has two major goals: the first is to honor the war dead who sacrificed themselves for the state, and the second is to communicate an allegedly "true" history to counter the fact that Japanese education in the postwar era emphasized Japan's wartime wrongdoings. The museum articulates the position that the "Greater East Asian War" contributed to liberating Asia and that the war was not an act of imperialist aggression.
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