May 1, 2020, Sitka, Alaska
It’s been a while since I visited the Michio Hoshino memorial totem pole on the south side of the Halibut Point Rec. Today was a nice sunny day so I decided to hike down for a visit. Michio Hoshino was a wildlife photographer. The pole was carved by Tommy Joseph and features animals that Hoshino photographed, some of which are not normally on SE Alaska poles, like Caribou and Humpback whale. At the bottom of the pole is Hoshimo holding a camera, you look right into the shutter. On top is Blue Glacier Bear. This bear, a subspecies of brown bear, is endemic to SE Alaska. The bear is blue-silver, sometimes with black legs. Hoshino wanted to photograph the bear but was never able to. Joseph put Hoshimo at the bottom, holding up the pole, and Glacier Bear at the top, tantalizingly out of reach. Raven sits just above the photographer, a Japanese flag on his right wing, an Alaska flag on his left.
The last time I shot this pole was 6 years ago. The elements have not been kind to the pole. The Alaska Flag on Raven’s south facing wing has flaked and faded away, and looking at Hoshimo’s face you can see more color on the north side. The peace symbol on the bear on top is still visible.
Michio Hoshino lived in Fairbanks but died in the Russian Far East while photographing bears for a Japanese TV program. He was mauled by a bear that attacked him at 4 in the morning in his tent.
When Michio Hoshino looks seaward , eyes right, eyes left or straight ahead He has a wonderful view .