From the age of 14, Japanese physician Jun’ichi Shinozaki has looked to mountain climbing as a means of confronting life’s challenges. Not least was the cancer he faced at the age of 29, which motivated him to climb Everest and later tackle some of the world’s highest peaks on several continents.
Dr Shinozaki, who was born in 1963, won a Rolex Award in 1996 for his project to carry out scientific research on the environment and local populations on behalf of a geologist friend while scaling mountains.
The Award funds allowed him to go as far afield as Antarctica, and by 1997, he had climbed 26 peaks in 17 countries, establishing trends in global warming and air pollution.
Today, Shinozaki is mainly involved with his work as director of obstetrics at a hospital in Gifu, Japan. His love of mountains is unabated, and he sees a combination of medicine, mountaineering and environmental stewardship as essential to a balanced life.
Published in 2009