Kaminogo, Hidaka Town, Kinosaki Gun, Hyogo Prefecture on
February 12, 1941, Naomi Uemura was the second Japanese
to reach the summit of Mt. Everest (May 11th
1970) or perhaps he was the first. As the story goes,
Teruo Matsuura, (who was one of the 39 climbers,
seventy-seven Sherpas and one woman on the expedition)
reached the top first. Though Naomi Uemura led almost
all route from the last camp to the top, and at final
moment, Uemura gave way to the elder Matsuura.
Uemura would go
on to solo climb the highest peaks on five continents, Kilimanjaro in Africa,
Aconcagua in South America, Mt. Blanc in Europe, and McKinley in North
adventurous exploits are impressive as well, including rafting solo 6,500
kilometers down the Amazon River and trekking 12,000-kilometers solo across
the Arctic from Greenland to Alaska. On May 1st 1978 he was the
first person to reach the North Pole alone. The trip took Uemura 57 grueling
days by dogsled.
On his 43rd
birthday (February 12, 1984) he became the first solo climber to summit
6,194-meter Mt. McKinley (Denali) in winter. He lost radio contact the
following day and is presumed dead.