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Yutaro Midorikawa looks like what in Japan is known as a soshoku-kei danshi — a herbivorous male. The carefully sculpted goatee, Clark Kent glasses (lensless, of course) and tight-fitting suit seem to advertise membership of that bracket of young men who have few goals in life other than to preen and play video games. Then he opens his mouth, and in an instant the stereotype is overturned. “I like to think of myself as a hunter,” he says.

That self-characterization is even more surprising when you consider that Midorikawa is in fact a curator, or a gallerist/curator — a profession that is rarely compared to blood sport. And yet there he was, in a Roppongi cafe earlier this week, 27 years old and cheerfully explaining that his ancestors were whale hunters in northern Japan, and that he, too, is involved in the pursuit of the “big game” that lurk beneath the “surface.”

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