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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.

More information about how we have ‘runified’ this site


Budai 布袋 (Biographical details)

Budai 布袋 (deity; monk/hermit/nun; Chinese; Male)

Also known as

Budai; Putai; Ho Shang; Hotei


A semi-legendary itinerant Buddhist monk of 10th century China, often seen in Chinese and Japanese painting. He is depicted as a fat, smiling, bald man with elongated earlobes and a vast spreading stomach. He wears loose robes and usually carries a sack and rosary beads. He is particularly associated with his 'cloth bag', into which he put all the things he found on his travels. Indeed, his name - Ch. Budai; Jap. Hotei - means 'cloth sack'. He is also thought to be an incarnation of Maitreya (Jap. Miroku), the Buddha of the Future. In Japan, he is one of the Seven Gods of Good Fortune (Shichifukujin).