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Being only a part-time art historian, but full-time gossip, I spend more time commiserating with my single female friends on the problem of “Why are there no great men?” than I ponder the rhetorical “Why have there been no great women artists?”, as feminist art historian Linda Nochlin asked in 1971 (hint: who writes the art history?).

Women trying to find a decent man is an eternal problem, but I think it might be a particularly acute one in Japan right now, where we seem to be in the midst of John B. Calhoun’s (1917-95) Universe 25. In the course of his studies on overpopulation Calhoun created a living environment for mice that provided unlimited food and water, but was limited in space. A group of mice developed that Calhoun dubbed “the beautiful ones,” as they lost interest in socializing and reproduction, and spent their days grooming themselves.

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