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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.

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  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Title (object)

    • Hiroshima
  • Description

    Photobook. One volume. One double-page colour plate, 128 b-w. with reproductions of photographs. Japanese text. Signed copy.

  • Producer name

  • Date

    • 1958
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Curator's comments

    Domon first visited Hiroshima in 1957. He visited survivors, hospitals, orphanages, met with blind people, nurses, elderly too poor to pay for treatment, and families struggling to re-built their lives. The result is a deeply moving document about the long-term effects of the Hiroshima bomb. The discrepancy between the portrayal of excruciating pain and the optimism of the disfigured generation is hard to bear. And yet the photographs manage to stay clear of cheap sentimentality or over-indulgence. This work does not portray the Japanese as victims, it simply portrays Hiroshima victims. It remains a milestone. Domon Ken won the 4th Mainichi Photo Award and 2nd Japan Photo Critics Association Award for the present work in 1958. Two images stand out: A group photo of the Kotani family exposing the disfigured face of the proud father. As well as an image of the blind and mentally damaged girl twins, Yuriko and Kaeko. The book-design is by Sano Toshijiro. The poem translates as: "When they hear about the children of the urns, the insects are crying". (Titus Boeder, 4/07)


  • Location


  • Exhibition history


    2007 Jun 13-Oct 7, BM Japanese Galleries, 'Japan from Prehistory to the Present'
    2010 Jun-Oct, BM Japanese Galleries, ‘Japan from prehistory to the present’
    2013-2014, Oct-Feb BM Japanese Galleries, ‘Japan from prehistory to the present’

  • Associated places

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department


  • Registration number


  • Additional IDs

    • PB.25 (Photobook number)

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Object reference number: JCF16143

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