713480 updated post view 171
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest

Junko Tabei

Mountaineer, Author and Teacher

Who is Junko Tabei? 

Born in Miharu, Fukushima, in 1939, Junko Tabei was not particularly strong or fit. Despite this, Junko began an interesting hobby at just ten years old. Mountain climbing! She went on a class trip to Mount Asahi and Mount Chausu in Japan. She continued climbing even in college where she pursued a degree in literature and education at Showa Women’s University. Most of the time, she was the only woman during these expeditions. In fact, some men refused to climb with her. They accused her of only being there to find a husband. 

Still, in the face of all of this opposition, Junk continued to climb. At just 4’9, Junk worked her way from Mount Fuji to the Matterhorn. By 1972, she had become a recognized mountaineer among not just Japanese climbers, but the whole world. She was even able to form friendships with some of the kinder climbers. She took this experience with her and would go on to found her own climbing club — exclusively for women. Her Ladies Climbing Club took a successful 1970 expedition, led by Tabei herself, to Annapurna III. Afterwards, Tabei turned her sights to Mount Everest. There was a four year waiting list, but Junko was determined. She and her group took the slot and began preparations! 

It was hard and grueling. It was a challenge unlike any other, but Tabei did it. She was the first woman to summit the world’s tallest peak and the first to climb the Seven Summits. Still, Junko preferred to be known as just the 36th person to climb Everest. Tabei faced horrible sexism and expectations, but was able to defy her culture’s expectations, but exceed them by plenty. 

3 Things We Love About Junko Tabei:

  • She was diagnosed with cancer in 2012, continuing to climb until her body decided no more. 
  •  She leaves behind a legacy of profound human achievement and environmental activism! 

Work Cited

Junko Taibei, the First Woman to Climb Everest and the Seven Summits 

Japanese Climber Junko Tabei, First Woman To Conquer Mount Everest, Dies At 77 : The Two-Way : NPR 

Related Stories

Theme developed by TouchSize - Premium WordPress Themes and Websites