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

    Netsuke. Arhat Panthaka (J: Handaka Sonja) with dragon. Made of wood; eyes inlaid in amber. Signed.

  • Producer name

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 19thC(early)
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 5.3 centimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Language

      • Inscription Transliteration

  • Curator's comments

    Smith et al 1990

    The 'sennin' has relieved his dragon of the Buddhist 'hokyu', or 'treasure jewel', which he guards. According to legend, dragons were thought to possess a jewel which enabled them to control the waves.

  • Bibliography

    • Smith et al 1990 145 b-iii bibliographic details
    • Barker & Smith 1976 213 bibliographic details
  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department


  • Registration number


Netsuke. Handaka Sonja with dragon. Made of wood; eyes inlaid in amber. Signed.

Netsuke. Handaka Sonja with dragon. Made of wood; eyes inlaid in amber. Signed.

Image description



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: JCR5650

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