Junko Tabei: The First of its Kind


(Photo credits: Nehita Abraham of Daily Hawker)

Junko Tabei, a Japanese woman, was the first woman to climb the world’s highest mountain. She was also the first woman who overcame the Seven Summits which is the tallest peak in each continent. She was also the 36th person to climb Mt. Everest despite knocking her down with an avalanche resulting in her to be unconscious. Junko Tabei was only 4’9 in height but the history she made in mountaineering was immensely bigger than anyone could ever imagine. She was 35 years old when she climbed Mt. Everest and successfully planting the flag of Japan, her home country, and for all the woman trekkers around the world.

Even before her legendary accomplishments, Junko Tabei’s name was already known all over the country because of how she made a stand in a male-dominated profession. She was a teacher and an author aside from being an environmentalist. She faced several challenges as she paved the way of women being involved in a male-dominated activity. Furthermore, Junko Tabei experienced criticisms as she left her then 4 years old daughter to her husband in able to pursue her adventures. She was married to her fellow mountaineer who supported her desire to climb the highest mountains in the world.

(Photo credits: The Japan Times)

Despite the discrimination she has to faced as a woman mountaineer, she managed to create Joshi-Tohan Club, which is exclusive to women mountain climbers in Japan. Even before creating her own-funded club, Tabei stand-up against Japanese society’s ideas of how women should behave by leaving her daughter to her husband to climb Mount Everest. She stood-up against women discrimation at work, an environmentalist which was focused on humiliation of Mount Everest because of the waste left behind by the mountaineers.

Junko Tabeu died last 2016 due to cancer. She was 77 and definitely lived a good life. Despite her life threatening illness, she managed to leave more stories in her legacy inspiring millions of adventurers of all genders.


Written by: Yam Pernecita

Yam Pernecita is a digital marketing intern of PS Media Enterprise. She is a 4th-year Bachelor of Arts in Communication student from Far Eastern University in Manila, Philippines.

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