What just happened?

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


Collection online

Additional options
Production date to

Or search by



  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Amulet (omamori) made of clay in the shape of a white dog painted with a red and pink flower on either side of its back and wearing a purple bib with white dots. The decorated areas are edged with a red lines. The eyes and the nose are blue with a long curling moustache on each cheek. The dog is stuck to a cushion made of green chirimen silk with a yellow tassel on each corner.


  • Date

    • 2000
  • Production place

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 3.3 centimetres
    • Width: 5 centimetres
    • Depth: 5 centimetres (a)
    • Weight: 10 grammes
  • Curator's comments

    Although not a typical type of amulet, small dogs decorated in this manner are associated with the protection of children in particular. In addition, this object was being sold in the shrine at Kotohira, adding to its amuletic function. This object is designed to sit on a flat surface rather than to be carried around.


  • Condition


  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    Acquired for the BP Showcase Exhibition on 'Souvenirs in Contemporary Japan'. British Museum Department of Ethnography; field collection.

  • Department


  • Registration number



If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: collectiondatabase@britishmuseum.org 

View open data for this object with SPARQL endpoint

Object reference number: EAS64661

British Museum collection data is also available in the W3C open data standard, RDF, allowing it to join and relate to a growing body of linked data published by organisations around the world.

View this object

Support the Museum:
donate online

The Museum makes its collection database available to be used by scholars around the world. Donations will help support curatorial, documentation and digitisation projects.

About the database

The British Museum collection database is a work in progress. New records, updates and images are added every week.

More about the database 


Work on this database is supported by a range of sponsors, donors and volunteers.

More about supporters and how you
can help