Google is celebrating today the birth anniversary of Japanese mountaineer Junko Tabei, who was the first woman to stand on the summit of Mount Everest. The Google page opened to an animated figure jumping across seven mountains, highlighting the fact that Tabei was the first woman to complete the “Seven Summits,” scaling the highest peak on every continent.
“Technique and ability alone do not get you to the top — it is the will power that is the most important. This will power you cannot buy with money or be given by others — it rises from your heart,” Tabei said.
She scaled the Mt. Everest on May 16, 1975, a feat that earned her praises from Japan’s emperor, crown prince, and princess. “It took two months until I could settle at home…My three-year-old daughter was scared of all the cameras.” the doodle page quotes her.
She told Sports Illustrated in a 1996 interview that she would be more than happy to be referred to as “the 36th person to climb Everest.”
Born in Fukushima as the fifth daughter in a family of seven children, she began climbing mountains at a very young age.
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.”
She was diagnosed with cancer in 2012 and died on 20 October 2016.