Sadao Tambe, 1916-2007

Publication Year: 2008.

Sadao Tambe 1916–2007

Sadao Tambe, born in Kyoto, Japan, learned climbing as a member of the famous Keio University Alpine Club. After earning his degree in economics in 1939, Sadao started his career in management with Nippon Yusen Kaisha, one of the largest shipping companies in Japan, which blessed him with the chance to travel to many foreign countries until his retirement. Sadao earned fame as one of the foremost translators of mountain books in Japan, and he published many books, especially about Himalayan expeditions, which led to strong friendships with Nepalese, Indian, Pakistani, and Chinese mountaineering authorities. He also translated Americans on Everest, by James Ramsey Ullman, which allowed him to meet and befriend Bill Putnam, then president of the AAC. Bill invited Sadao to the General Assembly of the UIAA and introduced him to board members from around the world.

Sadao was a member of the Japanese Alpine Club from 1965, served on the board of the Japanese Mountaineering Association starting in 1970, and was vice president of JMA from 1975 to 1984. He was elected to the board of the UIAA in 1976, where he served for eight years. Among his diplomatic achievements were active behind-the-scenes negotiations that led to a unanimous UIAA vote to accept mainland China into the UIAA. Sadao was also a long-time member of the AAC. Sadao is survived by his wife Tsukiko, three children, and four grandchildren. We miss Sadao and will always cherish his memory in our hearts.

Takeo Yoshino

Brief obituaries of other AAC members may be found at


Peter Absolon Robert G. Allison Robert Hicks Bates Kurt G. Beam David L. Blockus Rev. Harold O.J. Brown

Eaton Cromwell, Jr. Curt Dempster Joshua Fonner John Kevin Fox Walter T. Haswell, III Douglas L. Hoffmann

Ed C. Holt Lara Kellogg Chuck Kroger J. Alex Maxwell Richard McGowan Russell Mc Jury

Duane McRuer Chris Nolen Thomas C. Russler Michael A. Strassman Sadao Tambe Bradford Washburn