Who is Junko Tabei
Google keeps on livening up its search bar with various events from history. Last week Google celebrates the 80th birthday of Junko Tabei with its ‘seven summit’ doodle. But do you know who’s Junko Tabei?
Junko Tabei was the first woman to stand on the summit of Mount Everest. She was the first woman to complete the “Seven Summits,” scaling the highest peak on every continent. She scaled the Mt. Everest on May 16, 1975, a feat that earned her praises from Japan’s emperor, crown prince, and princess.
But she was happier to be known as the 36th person to climb the highest mountain on earth.
Born in Fukushima as the fifth daughter in a family of seven children, she began climbing mountains at the age of 10.
She studied English literature at Showa Women’s University and was a member of the University’s mountain climbing club. In 1969, after her graduation, she formed the Ladies Climbing Club: Japan (LCC) with the slogan: “Let’s go on an overseas expedition by ourselves.”
In 1975, she defied Japanese societal norms again when she left her young daughter with her husband while she traveled to Nepal to lead a group climbing Everest.
But her greatest hurdle on the journey came when she was pinned under four climbing companions by an avalanche at their camp more than 20,000 feet up the mountain. She lost consciousness for about six minutes before her Sherpa guides dragged her out of the snow by her ankles.
In all, Tabei climbed 69 major mountains in more than 60 countries and continued to climb after she was diagnosed with cancer in 2012. She died four years later, on Oct. 20, 2016, at the age of 77.