Keeping with the tradition of honouring outstanding achievers. Google Doodle today is dedicated to Junko Tabei, the first woman to scale Mount Everest, on her 80th birth anniversary. The mountaineer was born in Miharu, Fukushima. Though interested in climbing from an early age, it was difficult for her to pursue it due to the financial constraints of her family. Her journey then is both inspirational and is a feat.
According to a report in The Independent, she had once said, “I did not intend to be the first woman on Everest” and would rather be remembered as the 36th person to have achieved such an accomplishment. Needless to say, the journey was fraught with adversities which included braving an avalanche and losing those she had started out the journey with.
Her undertaking assumes more importance when placed within the time frame she belonged to. “Most Japanese men of my generation would expect the woman to stay at home and clean the house,” she was quoted as saying, reflecting on the times. On May 16, 1975, she reached the summit of the world’s highest peak. In many ways, she changed the landscape of women mountaineers and the way they were perceived. Keeping a low profile, she was not comfortable with fame and attention.
In 2012, she was diagnosed with peritoneal cancer and passed away four years later at the age of 77.