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Top>People>An invulnerable mountaineer, an indomitable life


Mr. Takayuki Inokuma

Mr. Takayuki Inokuma[Profile]

An invulnerable mountaineer, an indomitable life

Mr. Takayuki Inokuma
Mountain meteorologist

Takayuki Inokuma, a 1995 graduate from the Faculty of Law, is an expert mountain meteorologist who works at Yamaten Co., Ltd., a company specializing in meteorology. Inokuma focuses on the latest meteorological data to transmit weather forecasts 24-hours a day via the internet and mobile phones. In particular, his forecasts for the Himalayas have gained great credibility and his ability is commended both within Japan and overseas.

Ever since he was a child, Inokuma has been fascinated with weather. Instead of watching cartoons on television, he would spend all of his time watching weather forecasts. When he was a member of our university's mountaineering club, he enjoyed creating weather charts, a task which other members disliked and avoided. The occupation of meteorologist is a truly a lifelong calling for Inokuma. In particular, he focuses on weather in mountainous regions.

Inokuma is a cheerful and calm man, but his expression hides the heroic life that he has led thus far, a life which links him with mountains.

Narrowly escaping from death on Mt. Fuji, only to head to the mountains again

Inokuma spent in childhood among the rich nature in Niigata Prefecture and the western region of Kanagawa Prefecture. Acting upon his admiration for mountains, he joined his high school mountaineering club but soon quit. However, after entering the School of Law of Chuo University, he became fully active in our university's mountaineering club. Blessed with the support of older and contemporary students, he truly became infatuated with mountains. As he trained to acquire all-around proficiency in mountaineering, the mountains became an essential part of Inokuma's life. An unexpected accident occurred at this time.

While participating in a climb of Mt. Fuji during December of his 3rd year at university, Inokuma was suddenly struck by a gust of strong wind and fell from a rock face. More than 24 hours passed before he was rescued. He had incurred a crush fracture of his left leg. Furthermore, the bleeding froze inside of his boot and he suffered from frostbite. Such a horrible injury often results in amputation. However, his youthful body overcame an operation lasting more than 10 hours and performed without anesthesia. Miraculously, Inokuma recovered from the injury in about two years.

Although he gained employment at a subsidiary of Air New Zealand, his heart never left the mountains. Upon learning that Chuo University was launching an expedition on the peak of Mt. Jomo Gangtse in Tibet, Inokuma quit the company and engaged in hard training in order to return to the mountains. During this period, he was struck with fulminant hepatitis and was unable to train for about a year. Still, he spent the 15 years after graduating from university engrossed in mountains, climbing peaks such as Jomo Gangtse and the west ridge of Mt. Everest.

A diseased foot and farewell to mountains

Inokuma was struck with a disease known as osteomyelitis during the time that he worked at a travel company specializing in mountaineering tour all over the world. While training for a triathlon, his foot suddenly swelled and he became unable to put on his shoes. Upon consulting a doctor, he was ordered to immediately enter the hospital. He was told that failure to do so would make it necessary to amputate his foot.

Fortunately, he was able to resume work at the travel agency fairly soon afterwards. However, Inokuma's case was untreatable through surgery. The only option was to seek rest and a life without physical or mental stress. Continually battling a disease which flared up when he exceeded his stress threshold, Inokuma was in and out of the hospital countless times during the next five years.

It is certain that he felt mental anguish at being physically unable to climb mountains, even while working at a travel agency which handled mountain tours. Eventually, Inokuma quit the agency and gave all of his mountaineering equipment to his younger colleagues. The only item which he kept was his hiking boots, which he could not bear to part with. He then hid from sight everything in his house related to mountains.

Repaying his debt of gratitude to mountains

Inokuma had lost sight of his goal and was becoming detached from his beloved mountains. During these hard times, he received the greatest support from his mountaineering friends.

"I want to repay the mountains for all that they have given me."-This desire provided courage to Inokuma. He assumed a positive outlook and decided to find a new goal for himself, deciding to obtain certification as a meteorologist.

Inokuma had been strongly interested in weather since he was a child. Also, considering that he would be hospitalized repeatedly in the future, he decided to find a cerebral profession in order to make a living.

Inokuma hit the books for the first time since graduating from university. After just one year of intense study, he was able to acquire the difficult certification. Furthermore, during his study, he was requested by the mountaineer Hirotaka Takeuchi to forecast the weather for a trip to the Himalayas. This request led Inokuma to the profession of mountain meteorologist. In addition to combining his two passions of weather and mountains, he felt that this profession could become a feasible business.

Inokuma's forecasts utilize his rich experience in mountaineering both within Japan and overseas. His forecasts are particularly accurate for the Himalayas, an area with little observational data and unique terrain.

However, he also points out the danger of mountaineers relying on conveniently accurate forecasts.

"Mountains test a person's total abilities. I want the mountaineers who use my forecast to always remember the importance of using their five senses to detect danger and then taking action to avoid that danger."

Spoken by an expert mountaineer like Inokuma, these words carry great weight.

"I want to climb again."

Despite finding his life's calling as a meteorologist, Inokuma still dreams of climbing mountains again. With this goal in mind, he has continued to receive treatment for his foot. After visiting many hospitals and conducting extensive research on the internet, he was able to undergo an operation at the hands of a famous specialist. For the first time in five years, he is now able to walk without a cane.

Inokuma has received support from many people throughout the course of his life. Now, he supports mountaineers as a mountain meteorologist and provides guidance for students as Director of the Chuo University Mountaineering Club.

Mr. Takayuki Inokuma
Born in Niigata Prefecture in 1970. After graduating from the Chuo University Faculty of Law in 1995, worked at a travel agency specializing in mountaineering before becoming a meteorologist. Since 2007, has been affiliated with METEOTEC.Labo Co., Ltd., a company specializing in mountain and marine meteorology. Supervises mountain meteorology at the company. Draws upon his rich mountaineering background to transmit weather forecasts 24-hours a day via the internet and satellite telephones. His forecasts have gained the total trusts of mountaineers both with Japan and overseas. Became Director of the Chuo University Mountaineering Club in April 2011. In June of the same year, published The Encyclopedia of Mountain Meteorology (Yama-Kei Publishers), currently the most detailed book on mountain meteorology. Founder of Yamaten Co., Ltd.