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Image of Loves Me, Loves Me Not  37160


Yukinori Yanagi


Loves Me, Loves Me Not

Creation Date



late 20th century


144 x 96 in. (365.76 x 243.84 cm)

Object Type

textile/natural fiber/sculpture

Creation Place

Asia, Japanese

Medium and Support

wool carpet and brass

Credit Line

Archival Collection of Marion Boulton Stroud and Acadia Summer Arts Program, Mt. Desert Island, Maine. Gift from the Marion Boulton "Kippy" Stroud Foundation


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Accession Number

Visible in the center of Yanagi Yukinori’s Loves Me, Loves Me Not, a large wool carpet, is a deep impression of a sixteen-petaled chrysanthemum, its petals missing but for a single brass one hanging from the central disk. Others lie scattered across the rug, each accompanied by black lettering that reads either “s/he loves me” or “s/he loves me not.” The inscriptions are written in Japanese and the ten Asian languages spoken in Japan’s former colonies (Khmer, Vietnamese, Thai, Indonesian/ Malay, Korean, Chinese, Lao, Tagalog, Tamil, Burmese), with two more drawn from Japan’s “internal” colonies of indigenous people (Ainu, Shuri). The carpet’s color scheme invokes the felicitous red-white pairing used in Japanese ceremonies and the national flag. Yet, a carpet invites you to step or sit on it, giving viewers the opportunity to regard anew the hallowed Japanese chrysanthemum. Ideologically, this work participates in the national conversations that began in Japan in 1995 regarding the long shadow of wartime ideology and the meanings of community and national identity. Vijayanthi R. Selinger Associate Professor of Asian Studies Bowdoin College

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