- “'There are no accidents'”
- ―Oogway's philosophy to Shifu[src]
Grand Master Oogway (also known as Master Oogway or more simply Oogway) was an elderly tortoise and the previous senior master of the Jade Palace. Highly venerated for his wisdom, knowledge, and experience, Oogway was considered to be a sage. It was also apparent that he seemed to be reckoned as a god in the art of Kung Fu, as he was greatly respected by Shifu, the Furious Five, Po, the entire Valley of Peace, and all of China. Known as the greatest Kung Fu master in history, no one reputation surpassed his (other than the legend of the Dragon Warrior which he created).
Not much is revealed about Oogway's past life. However, it is implied that he was probably full of questions as a youth, which led to his departure from his home in the Galapagos Islands in a journey of discovery around the world, visiting every country until he arrived in China. There, he spent his young adulthood wandering as an ambitious warrior later recruited as a general in a great army alongside Kai, with whom he grew a brotherly bond with. One day, the two brothers-in-arms were caught in an ambush orchestrated by an enemy army, and Oogway was badly wounded. Kai carried him all over the region for days, looking for help, until they came across a secret village high in the mountains inhabited by pandas, who used their mastery of Chi to heal Oogway. Fascinated by this energy, Oogway was taught by the pandas how to use it by giving Chi to others. But Kai was only interested in increasing his own power with this energy, and saw that he could do so when he learned from the pandas' teachings how to use it by taking Chi from others rather than give it. Seeing what danger his friend's obsession would bring, Oogway battled furiously to stop him until finally, the tortoise banished the bull to the Spirit Realm.
Inspired by the ways of Chi to create a tradition of martial arts philosophy, Oogway turned away from a life of warmongering and began to wander through China looking for a place to call home, until he found one underneath an ancient and mystical peach tree known as the Peach Tree of Heavenly Wisdom, planted on top of a hill overlooking the land that would later become known as the Valley of Peace. But before his arrival, this valley was occupied by a dangerous tribe of demons from the underworld, who terrorized its citizens and laid waste to the settlement, gleefully destroying all who attempted to escape or enter. The peaceful villagers fled for their lives amidst the onslaught, but Oogway stood against the otherworldly menace, using his fighting skills in conjunction with the Hero's Chi, a power gifted from Heaven that dwelt within the tortoise's body. Using this mystic life energy to fuel his abilities, Oogway drove the demons back from whence they came, the demonic hordes fleeing back to the underworld through a crater atop Jade Mountain. He used the Hero's Chi in order to seal the entrance preventing their return, but one more demon remained at large. Faster and stronger than his dark brethren, the Demon King Ke-Pa overpowered the young warrior in the form of a giant dragon, taking advantage of Oogway's exhausted and weakened state to finish him off. Defenseless against the monster's onslaught, the tortoise collapsed at the foot of the peach tree, but since Oogway dedicated himself to protecting the Valley, the tree, in turn, chose to protect him by using the powers to Heaven and Earth to re-energize the injured master, enabling him to defeat Ke-Pa. Oogway used his Hero's Chi to trap the dragon-like demon in the body of a mortal pig, rendering him powerless so long as the peach tree lived.
Now praised as the Valley's guardian and peacekeeper for bringing and sustaining peace to the land and its inhabitants, the young tortoise found his answer to the Chi-centered philosophy he dreamed when he discovered a pool deep within the nearby Wu Dan Mountains, in which wept while observing his reflection and being "moved by the beauty of nature and the plight of the oppressed". As he meditated next to the pool, he achieved harmony and focus by focusing on the mysteries of the natural world, thereby forming the basis of the self-defense system of Kung Fu. Oogway worked for ten thousand days to perfect its system in ways such as obtaining inner peace, which required him to wash away the horrors of his past and finding his own path to the future, and improving the mastery of his Chi by acquiring mastery of self, which the turtle demonstrated by sitting alone in a cave for 30 years wondering what more he currently was. Once it was completed, he proceeded to use in helping make his new home a safe haven and a peaceful place to live, a duty he foretold in a prophecy would be passed on to the Dragon Warrior, a legendary prodigy said to be granted "limitless power" after achieving the highest level of Kung Fu by learning the secret of the Dragon Scroll, which would be unlocked only if the reader could believe in oneself and find such power within. In tribute of Oogway's many great deeds, the introduction of this martial art, the inhabitants of the Valley built a religious monastery of Kung Fu tradition known as the Jade Palace atop Jade Mountain, and it was there that the tortoise trained many others in the Kung Fu art, such as Master Golden Takin (his first student) and possibly Masters Gorilla, Senior Elephant, Porcupine, Badger Twins, Lizard, Goat, Frog, and Hippo.
Among Oogway's other accomplishments was assisting the Chih Kuan Crane Clan into fighting off Black Steel Flying Lizards, in which the wise master was repaid by the clan when they assist him in his efforts with protecting his home, thus creating the Thread of Hope, a thousand-mile-long bridge that guaranteed safe passage into and out of the Valley. His efforts proved successful as the Valley of Peace was made a safe haven for the "soft and weak", which was not only due to his own mysterious curing abilities but also due to those of many other celebrated healers who came to the Valley with the same goal as him. One of these healers was the Scorpion, who was well known for experimenting on the Valley's natural sacred orchards and using them as medical tools until she came across a hypnotic elixir in them, which warped her body and mind upon injection, and used it to brainwash the villagers into red-eyed drones in order to launch an assault on the Jade Palace. Oogway stood in her way and used two things to his advantage: the villagers' loyalty, which he used to free them from their mind control, and his hard shell, which shattered Scorpion's stinger when she tried to sting him. Before the tortoise exiled Scorpion, she stole the last growing orchard and swore eternal vengeance on anyone from the Valley. Despite being protector of only the province that the Valley was located in, Oogway observed his student's combat styles and wisdom and helped them to discover their own unique forms as they spread out around China and became protectors of the country's many other provinces, teaching other generations of kung fu masters before departing into the Spirit Realm for eternal peace. It was, therefore, possible that he even assisted many of these new generations into discovering the tradition for themselves and giving a hand in training them in its art.
As time went on, however, Oogway became unimpressed of one generation's Kung Fu skills and specialties for money by street fighting. After watching Kung Fu prodigies Thundering Rhino, Storming Ox, and Croc fail in their attempt to beat each other up in a match, the wise tortoise tried to help them find the road to their acclaimed paths by commenting "that they will only lose until they find a battle worth fighting". Later, upon finding that the Wu Sisters had just escaped their imprisonment, he realized this was a chance for Rhino, Ox, and Croc to put their skills to better use. He approached the three, but they denied his pleads for justified purposes and only decided to help him when he said they would find "riches" from going on the mission.
As the four journeyed together, Oogway gave the the three warriors a tough lesson in teamwork by throwing each one in between a gap in a stalagmite-like bridge while he crossed, showing the trio that by helping him, they helped themselves and each other in getting across, as each was able to make it past the bridge. They camped for the night, but both Ox and Croc began fantasizing about their wealthy lives. However, Oogway could tell that Rhino was not out for glory, but to earn the respect of his father, Master Flying Rhino. He then tried convincing the streetfighters not to continue using their skills for money and was unsuccessful. But as soon as Oogway went to sleep, he was approached by a messenger bird, who told him that the Wu Sisters sought to unify the gangs of China in order to conquer it. Thus, the Kung Fu master was forced to hasten their journey.
At a point in the journey they came to a volcanic wasteland, where Oogway revealed that the riches he spoke of before were meant to be emotional riches, which upset the three warriors and caused Rhino to confront Oogway, but in the process the hill the trio were on collapsed, and head for a lava-based waterfall. Oogway gave chase and saved the three from the fall by blasting them to safety with an attack. He reminded them all to "remember the path" before going over the edge himself. Saddened by Oogway's apparent death, Rhino, Ox, and Croc decided to return home. In the process, they stumbled across a village that had been pilfered by the Wu Sisters' forces, and they took pity on the inhabitants after a villager tried to pay them to go after the Wu Sisters. As Oogway had intentioned, the three realized honor was more important than money. After Ox, Croc, and Rhino defeated the Wu Sisters in a battle with their combined skills, Oogway appeared before them again after rounding up the gang leaders, revealing that he had not died in the fall, and asked them if they found the riches they were looking for. When they answered yes, the old master claimed he had never doubted them, and adds that he was proud of the warrior trio who had become friends.
Among the students that came to be trained under him, Oogway at some points passed on some of his duty as protector of the Valley of Peace and the rest of China to five of his pupils in each of these generations. Each quintet of skilled warriors became known throughout all of China as the Furious Five, and as a united team, they often fought at their master's side in defending the Valley and carried out his bidding on missions assigned for them around the nation. As the turtle came close to gaining spiritual existence, he went on to determine a student worthy enough to continue his wondrous deeds in kung fu mastery while organizing the last Furious Five trained under him; consisting of Fenghuang, a wealthy Eurasian eagle-owl who he was asked to mentor by her family for her demonstration of natural talent and diligence, Shifu, a red panda cub who he found waiting on the Jade Palace steps one night for a con-man father who never returned as promised, Junior Elephant, a son of Master Senior Elephant who came to him for his training following his father's early passing, and their class Rooster and Snow Leopard. This generation made an effective team under Oogway's tutelage over its active years, but like the generations that predeceased it, becoming evil was the most known trait that the most powerful member of each Furious Five shared. This matched the amount of power Fenghuang had, and by the time her change to evil was complete, she challenged Oogway for the position of the Jade Palace's master. But because the old turtle foresaw the owl's fall from grace, he crafted an inescapable owl-shaped cage to imprison her with. The two fought fiercely until Fenghuang collapsed at her master's feet and fled the palace to the Northern mountains before she could be captured.
When Shifu rose to the rank of Master in his youth, he quickly became overwhelmed by a mass of new responsibilities. Unable to cope with the stress, Shifu prepared to quit his Kung Fu life, but Oogway stopped him and taught him the Hing Kung, which involved balancing on leaves. Through Oogway's teachings, Shifu learned to regain internal balance.
In "Ghost of Oogway", Oogway appeared as a ghost and returned to the Jade Palace to mentor Po. However, this was later revealed in the episode to have just been a trick by Junjie attempting to take over the Jade Palace once again. But by the end of the episode, the real form of Oogway made a short appearance and said what Shifu thought he would never say: "Awesome."
Oogway was one of many that the upset townspeople of Monkey's village asked to make Monkey leave due to his careless pranking. The old master confronted the young troublemaker and directly told him to leave the village. When challenged to a duel, Oogway bested him and ended up pulling Monkey out of harm's way. Amazed, the defeated Monkey asked why he saved him. Oogway shared with him his admiration of the young warrior's skills, but also his sense of the reason for Monkey's mischievous behavior — which was due to similar humiliation Monkey had when he was younger. Distraught and humiliated in front of the whole village, the young Monkey surrendered and apologized, turning to leave, but Oogway stopped him; rather than making him leave the village as per the challenge, he told him to stay and encouraged him to treat others as he would want in similar circumstances. Inspired by the wise master's compassion toward him, Monkey took on his challenge and started to become a good warrior by helping others.
Oogway had a premonition that Tai Lung would escape from prison and attack the Valley out of revenge. Oogway shared this vision with Shifu, who suddenly became fear-stricken. Oogway calmed his old student and instructed him and the others to hold a tournament in order to choose the legendary Dragon Warrior, the only one worthy to receive the power of the Dragon Scroll.
A tournament for Oogway to determine the identity of the Dragon Warrior started later that day in the Palace's arena. Oogway, with Shifu at his side, watched as the Furious Five performed in front of their spectators and masters, displaying their skills individually by interacting with various weapon-wielding wooden contraptions. Once all but Tigress had performed, Oogway indicated the time for selection, sensing the Dragon Warrior nearby. However, when it seemed like Oogway was about to select Tigress, a large panda named Po landed right in front of her after having ridden a chair riddled with fireworks to get in the arena. Oogway commented on the interesting circumstances and declared the panda to be the Dragon Warrior instead, much to everyone's surprise. Although Shifu tried to intervene, Oogway replied, "There are no accidents," and carried out with his decision.
That night, Oogway found Po sulking under the Peach Tree of Heavenly Wisdom and stuffing himself with the tree's peaches after being sent on a chaotic crash course through the Training Hall by the still unbelieving Shifu and receiving a bit of negative feedback from the Five, his idols. Oogway understood Po's impulse to eat when he's upset but showed concern about the lack of faith Po showed in himself. He then encouraged Po to live for the present instead of worrying about what was and what would be. Po followed his advice the next day and survived through Shifu's strict training exercises with optimism.
Later that night, Oogway was seen practicing his Tai chi chuan underneath the peach tree when Shifu informed him of Tai Lung's escape from prison, thus confirming Oogway's vision. Oogway told Shifu that he must let go of the illusion of control and instead nurture and believe in Po's abilities in order for him to stop Tai Lung, demonstrating this metaphor by planting a peach seed that Shifu pulled from one of the peaches of the tree. Shifu still displayed confusion and doubt, but Oogway reassured him one more time that he must believe, and Shifu committed to trying. Sensing his time had come, Oogway handed Shifu his staff as he ascended into the Heavens in a swirling cloud of peach blossoms. According to the third movie, he didn't die, he only retired to the spirit world.
Now residing in the Spirit Realm, Oogway hoped to that Po had grown in skill and wisdom since the last time they saw each other when the turtle sent a "message from the universe" to the panda's biological father Li Shan, which led to the two finding each other. The wise master later meditated for inner peace atop a Spirit Realm mountain only to attacked by Kai, who aimed to take Oogway's Chi and escape back to the Mortal Realm. The old friends fought, and though the two are nearly equal in skill, Oogway was ensnared and his Chi was taken, but not before telling Kai that he already set Po on the path to stop him. He was then transformed into a jade pendant worn around the yak's neck but was never used as one of Kai's Jombies.
The most notable trait about Oogway is that he was very relaxed in serious situations, most likely due to his ability to foresee the future and his strong faith in others. Much unlike his student, Shifu, he never showed any signs of anger, strictness or outrage; he would instead sustain a firm, yet controlled tone in his disciplinary commands, such as when he first met Monkey and told him to leave the village he was tormenting. He believed in letting things happen in their own time and course, instead of trying to change or control them.
Oogway's attitude was usually very passive, and he is seen to be compassionate, as shown when he consoled Po about his disappointing first day of training, and when he saved Monkey's life during a duel. However, when dealing with Thundering Rhino, Ox, and Croc, he also showed signs of frustration and sarcasm when dealing with the young, greedy warriors, though remained patient and cryptic while guiding them on their journey. Though at times he could seem senile, Oogway was incredibly wise and knowledgeable, and gave great advice whenever necessary, using strong and witty metaphors to emphasize his points. He was almost always cheerful, kind and happy, even when he knew he was about to pass away.
Despite his wisdom, Oogway would sometimes contradict his own statements. For example, when Shifu said he had bad news, Oogway replied that news was neither good nor bad but when Shifu told him what the news was, the escape of Tai Lung, Oogway agreed that it was bad news.
As Oogway was the founder of Kung Fu, he was considered by many to be the greatest Kung Fu master in history, having used his vast lifespan to hone his skill for centuries. Even though he was ancient, his skills in Kung Fu were still considered to be the greatest on the planet. Oogway's signature weapon was his staff which he used against Tai Lung. During Tai Lung's raid on the Valley of Peace, Oogway was able to intercept the Snow Leopard with a swift leap, despite his advanced age and jabbed him in the chest with his staff before performing a well-placed and incredibly fast nerve attack that quickly dispatched him. Not only did he defeat a Kung Fu prodigy who was the first to master a Thousand Scrolls of Kung Fu, but he did so effortlessly with astounding speed and precision; he showed a more expert nerve attack than Tai Lung ever demonstrated.
Oogway also possessed unbelievable physical strength for his stature, seeing how he was able to easily lift up Thundering Rhino by the horn and toss him in a gap between the Bridge of Mists in Secrets of the Masters.
In addition to his legendary Kung Fu skills, Oogway could also have important visions of future events, which tended to come true, as seen in his prediction of the return of Tai Lung, who has been in prison. Oogway had shared this particular vision with his student Shifu, and merely watched as Shifu tried to prevent it by dispatching Zeng to warn the guards at Chorh-Gom Prison, saying to himself, "One often meets his destiny on the road he takes to avoid it." Nevertheless, the wise master let fate play out its cards, and sure enough, it was revealed that one of Zeng's feathers became the "key" that helped Tai Lung escape.
Oogway had taken in Shifu as his student after the red panda's father Shirong had left Shifu left him at the Jade Palace doorstep waiting for days, falsely promising to return in five minutes. During Kung Fu Panda, Oogway often called Shifu his "old friend". Oogway was known to teach Shifu how to maintain balance, both externally and internally. Shifu raised Tai Lung during his young years, telling him he was destined for greatness. When Oogway had seen darkness in him, Shifu decided to trust Oogway, despite his love for Tai Lung. However, Shifu was outraged when Oogway chose Po as the Dragon Warrior, leading him to disobey Oogway by trying and get rid of Po. Soon, Shifu came to ask help from Oogway at his peach tree. Oogway said that he must let go of the illusion of control, illustrating his point by using a metaphor of a peach seed, which showed how he cannot control it. After that, Oogway ascended into the Heavens as his time had come. Shifu appeared sad and confused at the sudden death of his master, and was left with his master's staff. Soon after, Shifu followed his master's advice and trained Po to be the Dragon Warrior. Shifu was seen still carrying his master's staff in Kung Fu Panda 2.
When Po fell into the arena on the day of the Dragon Warrior tournament, Oogway was just as surprised as everyone else, commenting on the "interesting" circumstances. However, while the incident looked like an accident to others, Oogway took Po's sudden entrance as a sign when he saw the future and the past within the panda, who the tortoise sensed would be the one to unite them both, and thus named him the Dragon Warrior. Po was shocked by this turn of events but did not have time to argue before he was whisked into the Jade Palace. It wasn't until that night when Oogway found the panda sulking under a peach tree that they actually spoke to each other. After Po conveyed his upset feelings to the tortoise, Oogway advised him to be less concerned about the past and the future and to instead live for today. This encouraged Po to keep pursuing his dreams of learning Kung Fu. After the panda's defeat of Kai, Oogway explained his true intentions for making the Dragon Warrior before naming him his "true successor". He also passed on his Yin & Yang Staff to Po, before Po departed the Spirit Realm.
The Furious Five
During the time he knew them in his life, Oogway enjoyed and respected all five students of the traditional Kung Fu animal styles.
Oogway simply welcomed Tigress to the Jade Palace after Shifu adopted her from Bao Gu Orphanage and, while observing her training, held caution against letting her getting molded into a copy of her master. The tortoise even supported Tigress when she volunteered to deliver Shifu's message, and later suggested that it had been no accident to bring back an entirely different group of recruits. He later went to the tiger as she sat bemoaning her "failure" but again expressed his conviction that she could not be Shifu; she had to be herself. He even possibly promised to make Tigress more by naming her the Dragon Warrior, since his decision to choose "a fat, flabby panda" like Po over a loyal student like herself offended her, and sometimes she wondered whether Oogway made the right choice or not until she realized that he did when Po defeated Tai Lung.
Oogway was shown to have played a critical role in Monkey's past by teaching him the value of compassion. The people of Monkey's village called on Oogway for help in driving the young troublemaker away. When they met, Monkey promised to leave if Oogway could defeat him, but he underestimated the old tortoise. Not only did Oogway win their fight, but he saved Monkey from being crushed under a falling pillar. The old master then complimented the young warrior's skill, but he also sensed great pain in him. Ashamed and defeated, Monkey was about to leave the village, but Oogway instead convinced him to stay and use his skills for good. Following his advice, Monkey soon became a hero to the townspeople and followed Oogway's example by treating them with compassion.
Oogway and Kai were comrades in a great army five hundred years prior to the franchise, and as such, they had fought in a great battle together, with Oogway himself being injured in the fray. Despite the perilous journey, Kai himself had carried his beloved friend to help, until they came to a secret village in mountains inhabited by pandas, who could heal and restore life with the power of chi. The loyal bonds that united the tortoise and yak were shaken upon Oogway's realization that Kai was after the power over chi. Though it pained him to do so, Oogway dueled Kai in an earth-shaking battle which resulted in Kai being banished to the Spirit Realm, body and soul.
Oogway possibly came to respect Scorpion as a citizen in the Valley of Peace and philosophical genius like him, but with the area of healing diseases using the Sacred Orchid. After her corruption, however, Scorpion tried to take over the Valley and the Jade Palace with the villagers as her mind-controlled drones, but Oogway had two things that rendered her powerless: the villager's loyalty, which he used to free them of Scorpion's mind-control, and a shell, which broke her stinger when she tried to infect him. The tortoise exiled Scorpion, but she gained a great loathing for him and took out her vengeful rage on anyone from the Valley.
Oogway took the young Fenghuang a protégé at the Jade Palace, mentoring her to become a powerful warrior. However, Fenghuang let the praise, skill, and power corrupt her into desiring to rule the Jade Palace. Oogway had suspected the owl's betrayal, having prepared an inescapable cage for her. After he defeated her, Fenghuang fled from the Jade Palace, too afraid to face Oogway again.
Oogway trained Junjie alongside Shifu and Chao, but the red fox became envious of becoming master of the Jade Palace by being just like his master in both wisdom and combat. However, the wise tortoise gave that position to Shifu instead, and Junjie went with Chao to become members of the Sacred Onyx Council, keeping a long-held grudge against Shifu. Even though Junjie shows respect and loyalty for Oogway, he may also be afraid of him and wasn't above using Oogway's image as a disguise to take over the Jade Palace.
While observing Tai Lung's training, Oogway showed displeasure at the darkness which he saw inside the leopard, as well as Shifu's excessive pride in his student. Possibly seeing that Tai Lung was very capable of doing cruel actions, Oogway inwardly decided that Tai Lung was not the Dragon Warrior.
When Shifu finally presented Tai Lung to Oogway, Oogway silently gave Shifu a look, which indicated to a dismayed Shifu and Tai Lung that Tai Lung wasn't meant to become the Dragon Warrior. Expecting his master to speak up in his behalf, Tai Lung's personal feelings, love, and trust were badly hurt when Shifu said nothing. This greatly angered Tai Lung, causing Oogway's greatest fear to become a reality. Tai Lung's true rage bubbled out, and he laid waste to the Valley of Peace and tried to claim the Dragon Scroll for himself, breaking Shifu's hip out of pure rage and hatred in the process. But his plans were cut short when Oogway used a powerful nerve block on the snow leopard's chest, knocking Tai Lung out. After that, Oogway had Shifu put Tai Lung in prison for life because of his crimes against the very valley he had grown up in.
List of students
- Golden Takin
- Gorilla (possibly)
- Senior Elephant (possibly)
- Porcupine (possibly)
- Badger Twins (possibly)
- Lizard (possibly)
- Goat (possibly)
- Frog (possibly)
- Hippo (possibly)
- Thundering Rhino
- Storming Ox
- Junior Elephant
- Snow Leopard
Oogway wears a green sash across his chest that wraps around and nearly covers the back of his shell. This sash is held together by a ring, and the back bears a large, stylized design that is meant to be a Template:WP diagram of fish forming the Template:WP symbol. It is likely this type of clothing and its color, as well as his staff, is a sign of leadership for the grandmaster of the Valley, as Shifu goes on to wear a green wrap after inheriting the title in the wake of Oogway's passing.
The only other clothing he has been seen wearing is his cone-shaped hat and yellowish green robe in Secrets of the Masters, possibly his traveling attire.
- "Oogway" is the English approximation of the Chinese word for "turtle" (Template:WP: 乌龟; Template:WP: 烏龜; Template:WP: wūguī).
- The number of petals it took to make Oogway disappear added up to 37,517 petals.
- In Kung Fu Panda 2, Shifu is seen wearing a jade green wrap similar to one that Oogway wore before his passing, each bearing a very similar insignia on the back. This illustrates some form of symbolism because Shifu has now stepped up and taken over Oogway's old position as a grandmaster and spiritual advisor.
- In the opening sequence to Kung Fu Panda 2, Oogway replaced the young fishing boy in Template:WP' original logo. He appears once again during the credits, where he can be seen in the background as baby Po is carried into the village.
As far as anyone knows, Oogway is the only citizen of the Valley of Peace that has lived a full century, possibly due to the fact that he's a tortoise, and tortoises are seen to have very extended lifetimes.
- At one time, Oogway was going to have a "hard-swearing, mob-boss personality". He was also going to be a "creepy grandpa" who kept wanting to pinch Po's cheeks.
- In some versions of the character, there was going to be a tiny snail on Oogway's staff to serve as his sidekick. This snail can now be seen when Shifu welcomes new players in Kung Fu Panda World, again at its suitable perch atop the staff.
- Per a request from the directors, the rigging department developed a special control to facilitate animating the loose skin under Oogway’s neck, termed his "waddle."
|Kung Fu Panda|
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