Junko Tabei: Seven Summits

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Junko Tabei, the woman who scaled the tallest mountain on every continent.


Junko Tabei was the crazy mountain woman who scaled Mount Everest and the Seven Summits – that’s the tallest mountain on every continent.

She was the first woman to accomplish both feats, and she did it in the 60’s - when mountaineering was not a woman’s world. 

Being female wasn’t her only obstacle to those summits, either.

She was petite – a frail child who only grew to be four feet, nine inches tall. Still, she blazed trails!

Junko met her husband on a mountain, and he worked and looked out for their children so she could climb.

⛰ She founded the Ladies Climbing Club, and led an expedition of fifteen women, including herself, up Mount Everest. They had to struggle to fund the trip, and then, twelve days from the summit, an avalanche wiped out their camp.

⭐️ Still, they made the summit, gaining fame for the club, whose slogan was “Let’s go on an overseas expedition by ourselves.”


Biography notes:

📍9/22/1939 – 10/20/2016 Japan

  • After the 7 summits she achieved a postgraduate college degree in environmental science.
  • She was worried about the type of tourism that had developed around Everest and concerned with waste on the mountain.
  • After graduation she became head of the Himalayan Head Trust of Japan.
  • She turned her attention to sustainable mountaineering and protecting the environment as well as focusing her attention on advancing the roles of women in Japanese society.
  • Junko was diagnosed with cancer in 2012, but this did not stop her from climbing and pursuing her dream of scaling mountains in every country. “I never felt like stopping climbing,” she said in an interview “and I never will.”
  • In summer 2016, she led a group of young people affected by the Fukushima disaster on an expedition to Mount Fuji.
  • 🕊 She died in November 2016. 




I can’t understand why men make all this fuss about Everest
I met my husband on a mountain, so my family has always been very supportive
Anyone with a pair of feet who can walk can climb
The most important thing is not being concerned about having the money, time or skills to climb, but the desire. Don’t think too hard. Just do it.
When I’m exhausted at the end of the day, I’m thankful that I’m at least safe and alive.
When my child gets a bad grade on a test, I tell myself it’s not a big deal. I don’t gripe. I’m able to look at the bigger picture. Climbing has changed my values.
Technique and ability alone do not get you to the top – it is the willpower that is the most important. This willpower you cannot buy with money or be given by others – it rises from your heart.
If people want to call me “that crazy mountain woman,” that’s okay.
The mountain teaches me a lot of things. It makes me realize how trivial my personal problems are .. It also teaches me that life should not be taken for granted.
I’m going to continue climbing until I’m incapable. Maybe when I’m 70 I’ll slow down, but until then, I’ll keep going and do whatever my body can handle


🍵 Tea inspired by this remarkable woman:

Seven Summits Tea

Written by



Rhonni has been a restaurateur and serial entrepreneur within the Renaissance Festival industry for over 3 decades. She loves tea. She created Tea & Strumpets at the intersections of Cosplay, Flavor, and Herstories.

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