Manaslu (8156m) was first climbed in 1956 by a Japanese expedition. Its name comes from the Sanskrit word manasa, meaning “intellect” or ” soul” It is the same root word as that for Manasarover, the holy lake near Mt. Kailash in Tibet. Just as the British considered Everest their mountain. Manaslu has always been a Japanese mountain.
HW Tillman and Jimmy Roberts photographed Manaslu during a trek in 1950. But the first real ssurvery of the peak was made by a Japanese expedition in 1952.
A Japanese team made the first serious attempt on the peak from the Buri Gandaki valley in 1953. When another team followed in 1954, the villagers of Samagaon told them the first team had been responsible for an avalanche that destroyed a monastery. and refused to let the 1954 expedition climb. The expedition set off to climb Ganesh Himal instead.
Despite a large donation for the rebuilding of the monastery, subsequent Japanese expeditions, including the one that made the first ascent in 1956, took place in an atmosphere of animossity and mistrust. The second successful Japanese expedition was in 1971. There was a South Korean attempt in 1971, and in April 1972 an avalanche that killed five climbers and 10 Sherpas ended the second made the fourth ascent of Manaslu as a member of a Tyrolean expedition that climbed from the Marshyangdi valley in 1972.