Kamui Mintara - Playground Of The Gods
Playground of the Gods, a home away from home for 50 or so totem poles carved by Japanese artist Nubuo Toko and his son Shusheo. The Tokos are members of the Ainu culture, Japan's first inhabitants. Installed on the top of an open slope looking west over Coal Harbour, the poles honour the ties between Burnaby and its Japanese sister city, Kushiro. The spectacular setting inspired Toko to imagine it as Kamui Mintara, or Playground of the Gods. The poles represent the story of the gods who descended to earth to give birth to the Ainu. Animal spirits such as whale, bear, and owl adorn the tops of the slender poles that are bunched together in groups of twos and threes. A killer whale and a brooding raven stand apart from the rest, looking west across the Strait of Georgia towards Vancouver Island (and Japan).