World’s oldest person celebrates 119th birthday in Japan nursing home


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Kane Tanaka celebrated her 119th birthday in Japan, extending her record as the world’s oldest person to another year. 

According to multiple Japanese media outlets, Tanaka took in the new year and her birthday Sunday at a nursing home in Fukuoka, Japan. 

Tanaka’s family said she intends to live another year to reach her 120th birthday, further bolstering her feat in Guinness Book of Records, which began tallying her age in March 2019, when she had turned 116

Eiji Tanaka, her 62-year-old grandson, told the Japanese news outlet Kyodo: “I hope she remains healthy and has fun every day as she grows older.”

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Tanaka, born in 1903, eclipsed the Japanese record for years lived when she turned 117 years and 261 days in September 2020. On that occasion, she famously posed for photographers with a peace sign while drinking a Coke (she has an affection for carbonated drinks). 

Tanaka has witnessed five Japanese imperial reigns and two world wars. She was born the same year the Wright brothers made their first powered flight and six months before British novelist George Orwell was born. 

Tanaka is the seventh of nine siblings and was married when she was 19 years old. She supported her family by running a noodle shop when her husband and eldest son fought in the Second Sino-Japanese War, which began in 1937.

The number of centenarians in Japan has increased. According to records released by the Japanese health ministry in September, 86,510 people were 100 or older, up 6,060 from the year before.  

The oldest man in the world, Jiroemon Kimura, also of Japan, died at 116 in 2013. French supercentenarian Jeanne Calment lived to be 122, the oldest verified recorded person in history. She died in 1997.





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