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Shinji Kazama

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Shinji Kazama (born 26 September 1950)[1] is a Japanese motorcyclist who rode to the North and South Poles on motorcycles.[2] He is shown in the documentary television series Pole to Pole (1992), presented by Michael Palin,[3][4] when he and Palin happened to be on the same flight to Patriot Hills Base Camp.

As of 2010, Kazama was the only person to have reached both poles on a motorcycle.[2][5] He reached the North Pole on 21 April 1987, and the South Pole on 3 January 1992.[1][6][7][8] Kazama's trip to the South Pole set an overland speed record for the journey (24 days) which stood until 2005.[9] He also set records for elevations reached on Mount Everest (5,880 metres (19,290 ft) in 1985, 6,005 metres (19,701 ft) in 1986), Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Fuji by motorcycle.[2][4][10] In 1982, Kazama became the first Japanese national to finish the Dakar Rally.[2] He won the Dakar Rally in the 500cc class in 1984. In 1987 he won the Rallye des Pharaons in the 250cc class.[10]

In 2004, while again participating in the Dakar Rally, Kazama was struck by a big rig, mangling his left leg. He was flown to a hospital in Paris, where the leg was saved, but Kazama was left reliant on a cane to walk.[2] In 2007, Kazama was appointed a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations World Health Organization "Bone and Joint Decade" (2000-2010).[10][11] In the same year, Kazama undertook The Trans Eurasian Continent Tour, covering 11,250 miles (18,110 km) (from Vladivostok to Cabo da Roca, Portugal) in 52 days.[2][5][10] In 2008 and 2009, Kazama drove a Subaru Forester from Alexandria, Egypt, to Cape Town, South Africa, to promote the Bone and Joint Decade.[5][11] In 2009, he traversed Australia. From May to September 2010, Kazama and three other physically disabled riders journeyed from the South Pole to the North Pole using motorcycles, bicycles, dog sleds and boats, starting off from the southern tip of Chile and finishing in Lund, Sweden.[5]


  1. ^ a b "North and South Pole successful". ExplorersWeb Inc. 16 June 2004. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Mitani, Sam (14 September 2010). "Courageous, Crazy Shinji Kazama - Countersteer". Road & Track. Hearst Communications. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
  3. ^ Palin, Michael. "Palin's Travels: Punta Arenas, Chile, Pole to Pole, Day 136". Prominent Palin Productions Ltd. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
  4. ^ a b Walter (30 January 2012). "The Altitude Review - Part 2". Andes Moto Extreme. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
  5. ^ a b c d Martin, Sara (9 September 2010). "International adventurer Shinji Kazama finishes global trek in Sweden to raise awareness of bone and joint health". Free-Press-Release Inc. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
  6. ^ "Japanese Is First to Reach North Pole by Motorcycle". Associated Press News. The Associated Press. 21 April 1987. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
  7. ^ Connors, Tiffany (April 2008). "North Pole Firsts". How North Pole Expeditions Work. HowStuffWorks. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
  8. ^ Spindler, Bill. "Pole: the 90's..." Bill Spindler. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
  9. ^ Arnthorsson, Thrandur (12 December 2005). "South Pole World Record - Ice Challenger". 4x4OffRoads.com. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
  10. ^ a b c d Carmo, Rogério. "Transeurasia termina no Cabo da Roca" (in Portuguese). Motorpress Lisboa. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
  11. ^ a b "Kazama lands in Cape Town". Bizcommunity.com. 8 January 2009. Retrieved 10 December 2012.