Guinness Names 116-year-Old Japanese Woman Kane Tanaka World's Oldest Person


Japanese woman Kane Tanaka, born on Jan. 2, 1903, is now the world's oldest person alive according to Guinness World Records. She is 116.

The centenarian was honored by well-wishers led by Fukuoka city mayor Soichiro Takashima in a ceremony on Saturday at the nursing home where she lives in Japan's western province of Fukuoka.

Tanaka received a framed certificate and a box of chocolates, which she ate right away according to a report.

Tanaka is the seventh child in a brood of eight. She married Hideo Tanaka in 1922 when she was only 19. She gave birth to four children and adopted a fifth child with her husband. The couple ran a food business which sold sticky rice, sweets, and Udon noodles.

Life Of A Supercentenarian

According to Guinness World Records, Tanaka was born in the same year that the Wright brothers launched the first successful airplane flight.

Tanaka has undergone several operations during her lifetime, including one for cataracts and one for colorectal cancer.

In her nursing home, the staff says Tanaka usually wakes up at 6 a.m. and spends the afternoons studying math and practicing calligraphy.

"One of Kane's favorite pastimes is a game of Othello and she's become an expert at the classic board game, often beating rest-home staff," according to a statement by Guinness.

"This right now," was Tanaka's reply when asked which part of her long life she enjoyed the most.

Before Tanaka, the previous oldest living person was Chiyo Miyako, who died last year at age 117.

The woman who reached the oldest age at 122 was Jeane Louise Calment from France.

Guinness said it is still investigating the record of the world's oldest man after Japanese Masazo Nonaka died in January at 113 in Hokkaido.

Japan's Secret To Long Life

Japan is known to have one of the world's highest life-expectancies with close to 70,000 centenarians. Among them was Jiroemon Kimura, the longest-living man on record, who died soon after his 116th birthday in June 2013.

Okinawa, Japan is often referred to as the "land of immortals" because hundreds of its residents are over 100 years old. In 2017, the number of people aged 90 years old and above in Japan hit the 2 million mark.

The healthy diet and lifestyle observed by old people in Japan contribute to their longevity.

Japan also has one of the most accessible health care services in the world with the government paying 70 percent of the cost of all health procedures and up to 90 percent for low-income citizens.

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