Profile of Junko Tabei

Current position Representative Director of Tabei kikaku Co. Ltd.
Nationality Japanese
Family Husband and two children ( daughter and son )


Personal History
1939 Born September 22, in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan.
In the fourth grade of elementary school, Tabei, led by her teacher, experienced her first mountain-climbing to the summit of Mt. Nasu in Tochigi Prefecture.
1962 Graduated from Showa Women's University, majoring in English & American Literature.
Joined workers' mountain-climbing clubs and devoted herself to mountaineering.
1969 Established “Ladies Climbing Club: Japan,” with the slogan: “Let's go on an overseas expedition by ourselves.”
1975 As sub-leader of Japanese Women's Everest Expedition and leader of its climbing party, she succeeded in climbing Mt. Everest (8,848 m), thereby becoming the first woman in the world to reach the world's highest peak.
Since then, she has continued to climb the world's summits, including ascents of the highest mountains on each continent, such as McKinley and Vinson Massif.
1992 Became the first woman in the world to reach the highest mountain on each of the seven continents.
2000 Completed master's course in comparative social culture at Kyushu University, Japan. (Study theme: Garbage problem in the Himalayas.)
PresentGoes abroad seven to eight times a year to climb the highest mountain of each country and has climbed the highest peaks of 56 countries as of March 2008. ( see Climbing List )
As chairperson of Himalayan Adventure Trust of Japan (HAT-J), an organization for protecting the mountain environment, she is occupied with outreach activities to educate people about the environment. HAT-J's website (
Publications (in Japanese only)
Itsudemo Yama wo(Always having mountains at heart) Shogakukan publishing2008
Yamakarano Okurimono (Gift from the Mountain)Kadokawa publishing2007
Takai Tokoroga Suki (My affection for the highest peaks)Shogakukan publishing2007
Yama-o-Tanoshimu (Enjoying Mountains)Iwanami Shoten publishing2002
Hajimete no Yama-aruki (Mountaineering for Beginners)Bunka Publishing Bureau2002
Everest Mama-san (Mom, Everest)Yama-to-keikoku-sha publishing2000
Apron hazushite Yume no yama. (Taking my apron off to go to the mountains)Tokyo Shimbun Publishing Bureau1996
1975Received Kingdom of Nepal's highest medal, Gurkha-Dakshina-Bahu
1987A Czech astronomer, Antonin Mrkos, named a newly found asteroid as "6897Tabei".
1988Fukushima Prefecture’s Medal of Honor, Saitama Prefecture’s Medal of Honor, Kawagoe City’s Medal of Honor, Honorary Citizen of Miharu Town.
Avon Sports Award
1992Distinguished service Medal on Sports of the Ministry of Education Culture Sports Science and Technology, Japan
1995Prime Minister's Award
2004The American Geographical Society invited Tabei to be the 71st signer of the Fliers' & Explorers' Globe, on which men and women who have flown over or explored a certain area in the world for the first time are given the honor of writing their signature.She is the only Japanese to have signed this globe.
2006Sen Kayoko Award from the Soroptimist Japan Foundation
2007Environment Minister's Award
UIAA award for international mountaineering
2008The Mountain Institute's 2008 Mountain Hero Award
2009Awarded medal of honor for cultural contribution by NHK
Public Roles in Japan
Chairperson of Himalayan Adventure Trust of Japan
Council member of Japanese Alpine Club
Member of Central Environment Council, Ministry of Environment
Board member of Showa Women's University
Director of Japan Trekking Association