Junko Tabei

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Junko Tabei (田部井 淳子 Tabei Junko?, born September 22, 1939)[1] is a Japanese mountain-climber who, on May 16 , 1975, became the first woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest.[2]

Early climbing history[edit]

After obtaining a degree in English literature from Showa Women's University where she was a member of the mountain climbing club, Tabei formed the "Ladies Climbing Club: Japan (LCC)" in 1969. She has climbed Mount Fuji as well as the Matterhorn in the Swiss Alps, among others. By 1972, Tabei was a recognized mountain climber in Japan.

Everest expedition[edit]

The Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper and Nihon Television sent an all-woman team to Nepal to take on the challenge of climbing Mount Everest. Fifteen women out of hundreds of applicants, including Tabei, were selected for the expedition


After a long training period, they began the expedition early in 1975 when they traveled to Katmandu. There they found nine local Sherpa people to guide them. They used the same route Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay took in 1953. In early May the women were camping at 6,300 meters when an avalanche struck their camp. The women, including Junko and the guides, were buried under the snow. Tabei lost consciousness for approximately six minutes until her Sherpa guide dug her out. Twelve days after the avalanche, Tabei became the first female to reach the summit of Mount Everest.

Later activities[edit]

On 28 June 1992 Tabei finished the climb of Puncak Jaya to become the first woman to complete the Seven Summits.[2][3]

Tabei had a goal to climb the highest peak in every country in the world and continues to work on ecological concerns. Tabei is the director of Himalayan Adventure Trust of Japan, an organization working on a global level to preserve mountain environments.[4]

Further reading[edit]

Related books:

  • 日本女子登山隊著『私たちのエベレスト:女性初登頂の全記録』(読売新聞社,1975年)
  • 落合誓子著『女たちの山:シシャパンマに挑んだ女子隊9人の決算』(山と渓谷社,1982年)ISBN 4-635-04136-0
  • NHKプロジェクトX制作班編『プロジェクトX挑戦者たち;6:ジャパンパワー、飛翔』(日本放送出版協会,2001年)ISBN 4-14-080574-9
  • 澤正宏ほか編,木村幸雄監修『福島県文学全集.第2期(随筆・紀行・詩編) 第4巻(現代編1)』(郷土出版社,2002年) ISBN 4-87663-586-2
  • 養老孟司著『話せばわかる!:養老孟司対談集:身体がものをいう』(清流出版,2003年)ISBN 4-86029-050-X
  • 毎日新聞社大阪本社学芸部編『わたしとおかあさん』(青幻舎,2004年)ISBN 4-86152-005-3
  • 日本エッセイスト・クラブ編『カマキリの雪予想:ベスト・エッセイ集;2006年版』(文藝春秋,2006年)ISBN 4-16-368380-1

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Official website- profile". Retrieved 22 September 2010. 
  2. ^ a b Robert Horn (29 April 1996). "No Mountain Too High For Her : Junko Tabei defied Japanese views of women to become an expert climber". Sports Illustrated. 
  3. ^ The American Alpine Journal. Volume 67 of American Alpine Club Annual Resources Series. The Mountaineers Books. 1997. p. 125. ISBN 0930410556. 
  4. ^ Otake, Tomoko, "Junko Tabei : The first woman atop the world", Japan Times, 27 May 2012, p. 7

External links[edit]