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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


Katsushika Hokusai (葛飾北斎) (Biographical details)

Katsushika Hokusai (葛飾北斎) (printmaker; painter/draughtsman; Japanese; Male; 1760 - 1849)

Also known as

Katsushika Hokusai; Katsukawa Shunro (勝川春郎); Gummatei (群馬亭); Tawaraya Sori (宗理); Hyakurin Sori (百琳宗理); Hokusai Sori (北斎宗理); Kako (可候); Tokimasa (or Tatsumasa) (辰政); Gakyo Rojin (画狂老人); Gakyojin (画狂人); Kintaisha (錦袋舎); Kukushin (九々蜃); Taito (戴斗); Raishin (雷震); Iitsu (為一); Saki no Hokusai Iitsu (前北斎為一); Manji (卍); Fusenkyo Iitsu (不染居為一); Getchi Rojin (月癡老人); Gakyo Rojin Manji; Tsuchimochi Ninsaburo (土持仁三郎); Tokitaro Kako (時太郎可候 gesaku-go); Katsushika (葛飾 art surname); Nakajima (中島 family name); Tetsuzo (鉄蔵 common name); Miuraya Hachiemon (三浦屋八右衛門 common name in later years); Tokitaro (時太郎 childhood name); Hishikawa Sori (菱川宗理)


Renowned painter and print artist of the ukiyo-e school. Pupil of Katsukawa Shunsho; also said to have studied with Kano Yusen, Tsutsumi Torin III, Sumiyoshi Hiroyuki and others. Used more than thirty other art names. The leading 'Ukiyoe' artist of the later Edo period, Hokusai had the longest career of any of them - more than seventy years - and during this time changed his style many times, making unique contributions in all fields. As his art name 'Gakyojin' suggests, he was indeed 'mad with painting'. Particularly fine are the paintings and 'surimono' from his Sori period onwards; the 'kyoka' anthologies, illustrated books and Western-style prints of his Hokusai period; the illustrated books and painting manuals of his Taito period onwards; the series 'Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji' of his Iitsu period. 'Sori' is an art name used by Katsushika Hokusai from 1794 to 1798, when he passed it on to his pupil Hishikawa Soji. There is controversy over whether certain works signed 'Sori' should be attributed to Hokusai or Soji.