Michio Hoshino

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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] Considered 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, Naoko, attended the ceremony.[2] Hoshino's wife and son survive him.[4]

Last Photo Hoax[edit]

A photo of a bear entering a tent circulating the internet has been framed as the last photo that Michio Hoshino took before he got mauled by said bear is in fact incorrect. The photo was in fact a photo entered into the Worth1000 photoshop competition, in which the theme was "hoax last photo taken before death".


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 six months later inviting him to visit. The following summer, he spent three months there, taking photographs and helping to catch fish.

Hoshino's photographs[edit]

  • 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[edit]


  1. ^ http://www.michio-hoshino.com/profil.html
  2. ^ a b "Totem pole to honor photographer Michio Hoshino". Raven Radio News, Andi McDaniel. 2008-08-01.
  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[edit]