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To celebrate Vikings Live, we have replaced our Roman alphabet with the runic alphabet used by the Vikings, the Scandinavian ‘Younger Futhark’. The ‘Younger Futhark’ has only 16 letters, so we have used some of the runic letters more than once or combined two runes for one Roman letter.

For an excellent introduction to runes, we recommend Martin Findell’s book published by British Museum Press.

More information about how we have ‘runified’ this site


Hagiwara Hideo, 'In the Valley between the Buildings' (Biru no tanima ni), a colour woodblock print

Hagiwara Hideo, In the Valley

© 2001 Hagiwara Hideo

Height: 450.000 mm
Width: 565.000 mm

Asia JA 2000.3-29.03

From the series 'Thirty-six Fujis' (Sanjū-roku Fuji)

The view is from Shinjuku on the west side of the centre of Tokyo, the 'second city centre' (fuku-toshin) that underwent staggering development of high-rise buildings in the period of rapid economic growth from the 1960s through the 1980s.

The artist has juxtaposed distant Fuji with the unyielding side of a skyscraper in the foreground. At the fringes of West Shinjuku, the current high-water marks of redevelopment, the scale of the buildings suddenly drops away to normal again, providing a clear perspective westwards across Musashi Plain.

However, today Fuji is only visible from Tokyo for a few days each year when the meteorological conditions relieve the smog and exhaust fumes, typically on New Year's Day when the traffic stops.