Junko Tabei was one of the most famous female mountaineers. She is best known as the first woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest. She achieved this milestone on May 16, 1975.
Despite this, she was the thirty sixth person to climb the Everest. She is also the first woman to summit the highest mountain on each of the seven continents. These seven mountains are collectively known as the Seven Summits.
Junko Tabei was born Ishibashi Junko on September 22, 1939, in a small agricultural town in the Miharu, Fukushima prefecture in Japan. She was the fifth daughter in a family of 7 children. She was classed as a frail and a weak child of the family.
She started going on a class climbing trip and began climbing the mountain at an early age of 10.
She attended Showa Women’s University and earned a degree in English and American literature from 1958 to 1962, where she was also a member of the mountain climbing club. During college time, Junko met a group of male students who were in an alpine club, which she wished to join.
In 1969, after her graduation, she initiated the Ladies Climbing Club: Japan (LCC). The club was the first of its kind in Japan with the club’s slogan was “Let’s go on an overseas expedition by ourselves”.
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Fun Facts Junko Tabei
- A classroom mountain-climbing expedition to Mount Nasu ignited her interest in mountaineering.
- She attended Showa Women’s University from 1958 to 1962 and earned a degree in English and American literature.
- During college, she encountered a group of male mountaineers who were in an alpine club, which she wanted to be a part of. Where, male mountaineers made fun of Junko Tabei and refused to climb with her, others thought she was here to find a husband and not interested in climbing.
- Junk then joined several mountain-climbing clubs and then formed the Ladies Climbing Club in 1969.
- In 1969, Junko Tabei founded the Joshi-Tohan mountaineering club for women only.
- Tabei’s Ladies Climbing Club (LCC) contained a team headed by Eiko Hisano known as the Japanese Women’s Everest Expedition (JWEE), which was formed to attempt to climb the summit of Mount Everest.
- On 19 May 1970, LCC decided to tackle Mount Everest after Tabei and Hiroko Hirakawa successfully summited Annapurna III.
- Junko Tabei was a recognized mountain climber in Japan by 1972 and she climbed mountains such as Mount Fuji in Japan and the Matterhorn in the Swiss Alps.
- In the 1990–91 seasons, Tabei reached Antarctica’s highest mountain, Mount Vinson.
- On 28 June 1992, she became the first woman to complete the Seven Summits after she reached the peak of Puncak Jaya in Indonesia.
- In 2000, she went on to become an environmental advocate and completed postgraduate studies at Kyushu University.
- In 2016, she also led a group of young people affected by the Tsunami Fukushima disaster on an expedition to Mount Fuji.
- She died on 20 October 2016 because of cancer which she was diagnosed within 2012.
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Question & Answers:
Being the first woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest.
On May 16, 1975
By 1972, she was recognized as a mountain climber in Japan.
On 28 June 1992
During her 1990-1991 season.