A collection of personal stories and reflections based on the memoirs of Junko Tabei, the first woman to climb Mount Everest and the Seven Summits.
Honouring High Places is a compelling collection of highlights from Junko Tabei's stirring life that she considered important, inspiring and interesting to mountaineering culture. Until now, her works have been available only in Japanese, and RMB is honoured to be sharing these profound and moving stories with the English-speaking world for the first time.
The collection opens on Mount Everest, where the first all-women's expedition is met with disaster but pushes on against all odds. The story then shifts to the early years of Tabei's life and reflects on her countryside childhood as a frail girl with no talent for sport, and cultural expectations that ignored her passion for mountains.
With reminiscences of the early days of female climbers on Everest, the deaths of fellow mountaineers, Tabei's pursuit of Mount Tomur, a cancer diagnosis, and efforts to restore a love for nature in the surviving youth of the Fukushima earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in 2011, this beautifully curated collection of essays captures the essence of a notable time and the strength of character of one of the 20th and 21st centuries' female mountaineering pioneers.
About the Author
Helen Y. Rolfe is a professional writer and editor, and the author of Women Explorers: One Hundred Years of Courage and Audacity. She lives in Canmore, Alberta.Yumiko Hiraki was born in Osaka, Japan, and moved to Canada in 1988. She worked as a mountain guide and had the great luck to meet Junko on various hiking and ski trips in the Canadian Rockies. She lives in Banff, Alberta.Rieko Holtved was born in Ehime, Japan, and moved to Canada in 1997. She worked as a trip coordinator and had the pleasure of meeting Junko while organizing hikes in the Canadian Rockies. She lives in Canmore, Alberta.
The story of a young woman who begins climbing in Japanese Mountain Club culture in the 1960's is a tale worth reading in itself. From this complex and often tragic social beginning Junko Tabei goes on to a rich life that manages to include family, teaching and climbing all over the world well into her late 70's while supporting causes related to the value of a life connected to nature and the mountains. It is a well named and well put together piece of history.
The book's charm lies in Tabei's unassuming but obviously driven nature, and its insights into how Japanese society approaches mountaineering provides the reader with a personal view of the climbing world beyond the Anglosphere.
The book provides a comprehensive reference to Tabei's climbing career, as well as numerous reflections and insights, and entertaining stories with enjoyable glimpses of Tabei's world through her unique lens.
...Rolfe created an exquisitely crafted book that is a joy to read, not only because Tabei's story is so compelling, and her character so delightfully admirable, but also because Rolfe's writing and editing skills are so finely tuned.