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The purpose of this paper is to present a simple template-matching pattern recognition technique by using any general-purpose associative memory. The input patterns for recognition may have wide variations, provided that the distinct features of individual pattern classes can be extracted. Each pattern class is allowed to have deviations in size, style, orientation, etc. within certain limits. This pattern recognition technique is extremely efficient in handwritten character recognition, which is used for illustration in this paper. Because each input pattern is processed with all the pattern classes simultaneously, the speed of this pattern recognition technique is very high. It is found that most input patterns are recognized within first comparison process and no input patterns require more than two comparison processes for their recognition.