A project 40 years in the making Such a photographic collection of 100 mountains could not have been achieved without Mr Shirakawa

  • Vol.1
    Japanese ed.vol1

  • Vol.2
    Japanese ed.vol2

  • Vol.3
    Japanese ed.vol3

  • cover
    Japanese ed.(SP ed.)

About this book

Production period
The World's 100 Great Mountains Volume 1
Nepal, North and South America

Japanese ed. (2001) Shogakukan Inc (price 38,000JPY)
The World's 100 Great Mountains Volume 2
Pakistan, Europe, Alps, etc

Japanese ed. (2001) Shogakukan Inc (price 38,000JPY)
The World's 100 Great Mountains Volume 3
India, China, etc

Japanese ed. (2002) Shogakukan Inc (price 38,000JPY)
The World's 100 Great Mountains Special edition
Japanese ed. (2007) Shogakukan Inc (price 12,000JPY)

In order to select the 100 great mountains of the world that would stand up to historical scrutiny, the composition of the selection committee was important. Eleven world famous alpinists, including Sir Edmund Hillary, Sir Chris Bonington C.B.E. and Mr Maurice Herzog from France, were asked to be members of the selection committee. No one, including the members of the selection committee, thought it was possible to take pictures of all the 110 great mountains chosen by the committee. The great mountains are concentrated in Kashmiri region where troops from both India and Pakistan confront each other. It was considered impossible to shoot aerial photographs in this region and even impossible to approach by land. But Mr Shirakawa, using his personal contacts established over the years, obtained permission and for the first time in history was able to take aerial photos of the mountains around Kashmiri.

Mr. Shirakawa was the only person to see more than 50 of the noted mountains of the world and was the only one who saw all the mountains from the air. For this reason, the final decision of selecting the 100 great mountains was left to Mr Shirakawa. The outcome was a unique book, the World's 100 Great Mountains. An historical first.

Furthermore, His Majesty the King of Nepal, Birendra, wrote a preface for Volume I. His Majesty personally granted this preface to Mr Shirakawa at the royal palace in September 2000. In a previous collection of work, Himalayas, published in 1971, Mr Shirakawa was granted a preface by the previous King, Kahendra. This was the first time in history this had happened. It was thus, personally very emotional for Mr Shirakawa that during his lifetime, two kings, father and son, had honoured his works.



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I am pleased to learn that Mr Yoshikazu Shirakawa is publishing a book on the mountains The world's Hundred Greatest Mountains. It has been thirty years since his book on the Himalayas which besides contributing to help the world at large to appreciate and admire the eternal beauty of these magnificent mountains also introduced to the world those countries in which they were located. This was especially true for Nepal,which has eight of the fourteen peaks above 8000 metres.

The present book is as much manifestation of Mr Shirakawa's love for the mountains as his painstaking effort and research. I am confident that it will be informative as well as aesthetically pleasing to those who have an avid interest in the mountains and laymen alike. Each page of this book, I hope, well also help humanity to understand how uniquely privileged we are to have such natural beauty amidst us and it is our duty to assist each other in preserving their fragile eco-system for our posterity.

September 22, 2000

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He was born in Ehime in 1935. After graduated Nihon University College of Art Photography, he worked as a producer of the literary department at Nippon Broadcasting System, Inc. and is now a Freelance photographer.