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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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Doban-e jo saishiki (Coloured copperplate print)

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Title (object)

    • Doban-e jo saishiki (Coloured copperplate print)
  • Description

    Colour woodblock print, triptych. European woman and young daughter standing at a toy stall decked out with a display of toys (dolls, stick horses, a toy axe, horns, and drums); the stall-holder shows a doll to the young girl.

  • Producer name

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1860 (intercalary 3rd month)
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 24.5 centimetres
    • Width: 36.8 centimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Transliteration

        Doban-e jo saishiki
      • Inscription Translation

        Coloured copperplate print
      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Transliteration

        Gountei Sadahide ga
      • Inscription Translation

        Picture by Gountei Sadahide
  • Exhibition history


    2009 Jul 1-Oct 25, BM Japanese Galleries, 'Japan from prehistory to the present'
    2012 Jun – Oct, BM Japanese Galleries ‘Japan from Prehistory to Present’

  • Conservation

    See treatments 

    Treatment date

    27 January 1999

    Reason for treatment

    Trustee Presentation

    Treatment proposal

    Repair, inlay, mount.


    Creased corners and central crease.

    Treatment details

    Support corners and central crease with toned Mino adhered with Methyl Cellulose (Culminol). Relax on Goretex and placed between blotting paper under a board with weights. Inlaid using Japanese strip method and mounted in royal acid free board by MT3.

    About these records 

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    Credit Line: Purchase funded by the Brooke Sewell Bequest and British Museum Society.

  • Department


  • Registration number



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Object reference number: JCF16236

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