R.I.P. Kuriki

There’s been lots of access to an episode about “alpinist” Nobukazu Kuriki I wrote in the past following his recent death.

The impression I have about him hasn’t changed much since that day five years ago, remaining something like “Japan’s first serious alpine fraudster.” On the global scale there are others like Tomo Cesen who are subject to controversy and skepticism partly owing to the nature of solo climbing where proof of success is hard to establish. Although, Cesen is said to have remarkable abilities nonetheless, separating his case from this one.

It’s been a mystery why Kuriki had constantly been raising the bar to make his attempts more and more suicidal, but someone on the net compared it to “taking university entrance exams every year, with the goal set too high from the start and yet going up year after year,” which made total sense to me. One big difference I see is that there are about 100 people that pass the exam even for the hardest department of Tokyo University. If put along the same line of comparison, Kuriki’s challenges were like “entering Harvard right after elementary school.” It’s one of those things that’s been attempted throughout human history countless times by people boasting physical strength, smartness, equipment, money, and any combinations thereof, with few, if any, actually making it.

It’s pointless to beat on the dead, or shout out about Kuriki’s lies from an outsider’s viewpoint now. But on the other hand, I really would like his supporters and media to reflect on this whole shebang based on facts and truths. It would be a crying shame if a minor sport was stirred up using a false icon and the resulting confusion was left unattended.

My remark five years ago that “Money you give him will be dead money” was quite arrogant, I know. At the end of the day, though, that sort of “support” for him only ended up paying his Styx toll. Truly regrettable.

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