Kazuo Abe, calls himself “only architect on a wheelchair in Aichi Prefecture.” The president of a construction company, 47-year old Abe builds homes especially for people with physical disabilities.
Climbing the 3, 776-meter Mt. Fuji has always been the architect’s goal. A accident during a motorcycle race nine years ago left him paralyzed but did not get in the way of reaching the top of the mountain.
Accompanied by 21 people, the ‘architect in a wheelchair’ reached the summit of Mt. Fuji in September after three attempts.
The initial attempt of the Japanese architect was four years ago which got him to 2, 700 meters. He gave a second try the next year but was not successful. His third attempt came after much prodding from his 12-year old daughter who was among those who accompanied him as he ascended Mt. Fuji.
After 10 months of training, Abe set foot in Mt. Fuji on September 4. With his three-wheeled pushchair and with the people who climbed with him holding his oxygen mask and fueling his wheelchair, Abe ascended and reached the mountain top of Japan’s highest peak.
"More than anything else, I was happy because I could share the excitement with people who scaled the mountain with me," the architect on wheelchair said.