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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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Front

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    2008,3035.133

  • Title (object)

    • Front
  • Description

    Illustrated magazine. Nos. 1-6 bound in 3 vols. (of 9). Numerous photographic illustrations including numerous fold-out plates as well as posters. Text of vol. 1 in French, vol. 2 in English, vol. 3 in Japanese. First edition.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1942
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Curator's comments

    Front is a tour-de-force of design and photography: Essentially a propaganda magazine it was intended for foreign audiences and apparently distributed in fifteen languages throughout the 'Greater East-Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere'. Ironically the magazine was modelled on the famous publication ‘USSR in Construction’ which was designed by El Lissitzki (1890-1941) with contributions by Alexandre Rodchenko (1891-1956) during the 30s. It is outstanding in its innovative use of design, including photomontages, large-scale foldout posters and inserts giving a sense of dynamic movement.. No. 1-2 deals with the navy, no. 3-4 with the air-force, and no. 5-6 with Manchuria. Kimura Ihei was the head of the photography section which included Kazano Haruo, Watanabe Tsutomu, Katsura Koshiro, Oki Minoru, Sekiguchi Mitsumori, Hamaya Hiroshi, Kikuchi Junkichi, Nishino Kazuo, Sakaguchi Tadahiro, and Tsuji Yunnosuke. Hara Hiromu was in charge of design working with Ogawa Toraji, Imaizumi Takeshi, and Hasuike Juntaro. The complete stock of the tenth volume (entitled: Tokyo at War) was destroyed in an air-raid in 1945. No copy in OCLC. (Titus Boeder, 9/2007)

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  • Exhibition history

    Exhibited:
    2009-2010 18 Feb-14 Feb, BM, Japanese Galleries, 'Japan from Prehistory to the Present'
    Oct 2012 - April 2013, BM, Japanese Galleries, 'Japan from Prehistory to the Present'
    2013 May-Sep, London, BM, The Art of Influence: Asian Propaganda

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    2008

  • Department

    Asia

  • Registration number

    2008,3035.133

  • Additional IDs

    • PB.390 (Photobook number)

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Object reference number: JCF20345

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