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Michio Hoshino

Michio Hoshino (星野 道夫 Hoshino Michio, September 27, 1952 - August 8, 1996) was a Japanese-born nature photographer. He originally hailed from Ichikawa, Chiba Prefecture.[1] Called one of the most accomplished nature photographers of his era [2] and compared to Ansel Adams,[3] Hoshino specialized in photographing Alaskan wildlife until he was killed by a brown bear while on assignment in Kurilskoye Lake, Russia in 1996.[4]

Lynn Schooler's book The Blue Bear relates the story of the author's friendship with Hoshino, a man he admired greatly for his skill as a photographer and his humanity. Schooler is a wilderness guide who became a photographer in his own right under Hoshino's tutelage.[5] Another book, The Only Kayak by Kim Heacox, describes Hoshino's journeys to Glacier Bay as well as his own close personal friendship with Hoshino.

A memorial totem pole was raised in Sitka, Alaska, on August 8, 2008 (the 12-year anniversary of Hoshino's death), in honor of his work. Relatives and witnesses from Japan, including his widow, attended the ceremony.[2] Hoshino's wife and son survive him.[4]


  • Life 1
  • Hoshino's photographs 2
  • Further reading 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5
  • Interviews 6


Michio's interest in Alaska began at the age of 19, when he bought a photo book showing the village of Shishmaref. Wanting to see it for himself, he sent a letter to the village's mayor, who replied 6 months later inviting him to visit. The following summer, he spent 3 months there, taking photographs and helping to catch fish.

Hoshino's photographs

  • Grizzly. San Francisco: Chronicle, 1987. ISBN 0-87701-431-0.
  • The Grizzly Bear Family Book. North-South Books, 1997. ISBN 1-55858-701-2. For young readers.
  • Hoshino's Alaska. San Francisco: Chronicle, 2007. ISBN 978-0-8118-5651-5.
  • Moose. San Francisco: Chronicle, 1988. Hardback ISBN 0-87701-503-1. Paperback ISBN 0-87701-494-9.

Further reading

  • Schooler, Lynn. The Blue Bear. New York: Harper Collins, 2002. ISBN 0-06-093573-1. New York: Ecco, 2002. ISBN 0-06-621085-2.
  • Heacox, Kim. The Only Kayak. Giulford, CT: The Lyons Press, 2005. ISBN 1-59228-715-8


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ Kantner, Seth. Shopping for Porcupine, p. 120. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Milkweed, 2008.
  4. ^ a b "Michio Hoshino Dies While Filming Bears", The New York Times, September 22, 1996, accessed January 12, 2011.
  5. ^ Schooler, Lynn. The Blue Bear. New York: Ecco, 2002.

External links

  • (Japanese) Hoshino's site
  • (English) J'Lit | Authors : Michio Hoshino | Books from Japan
  • Coming Home: The Photographs of Michio Hoshino
  • Michio Hoshino Photo Gallery - by AnimalsandEarth


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