116-Year-Old Japanese Woman Officially Named The World's Oldest Living Person

The Guinness World Records has officially named Kane Tanaka the oldest living person at the age of 116-years-old.

Despite being more than a century old, Tanaka still enjoys studying, playing games, and waking up early to maximize her day. She’s seen the world change a lot during her life, and the insights she has must be full of wisdom.

The Japanese tend to live much longer than other cultures around the world. In 2018, it was recorded that almost 70,000 citizens have reached the age of 100 or older. As of last September of last year, women made up 88% of the “centenarian” population.

Usually, the government gives a gift called a "sakazuki" to citizens who have turned 100, but due to the large number of people reaching that age, authorities had to downgrade the quality of the gift. Tanaka probably received hers 16 years ago, and that sakazuki is older than some people today.

According to The GuardianTanaka’s induction ceremony was held at her nursing home in Fukuoka in the south-west of Japan. She was born on January 2, 1903, the same year the Wright Brothers first took flight and the Nobel Prize for Physics was awarded to Pierre and Marie Curie. She is the seventh of eight children and had five children of her own after she married her husband, Hideo, in 1922.

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Every single day, Tanaka wakes up at 6 a.m. She loves mathematics, so she enjoys studying it and doing problems. One of her favorite things to do is to play the board game Othello, so anyone who wants to play with her will surely make her day. Her brain is constantly active and stimulated, so this could be one of the factors contributing to her long life. Other than that, the Japanese are known for their healthier diets compared to the rest of the world. Most foods are quite low in fat, and they eat a lot of vegetables and fish that provide a lot of nutrients.

Sakazuki cups Via: Wikimedia Commons

Besides physical care and mental stimulation, living a relatively stress-free life helps one live longer. Japan’s oldest man, Masazo Nonaka, attributed his longevity (113 years) to bathing in hot springs and eating sweets—contributing to his happy and carefree life.

Looks like Tanaka also knows the secret too, as she told Guinness World Records that she wants to eat 100 chocolates on her inauguration day. Accompanied by universal healthcare and a reverence for the elderly, Japan is the perfect place to grow old.

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