Japanese woman (116) honoured as world’s oldest living person

Kane Tanaka recognised by Guinness World Records in ceremony at nursing home

Kane Tanaka is usually up by 6am and enjoys studying mathematics. Photograph: Takuto Kaneko/Kyodo News via AP

Kane Tanaka is usually up by 6am and enjoys studying mathematics. Photograph: Takuto Kaneko/Kyodo News via AP

 

A 116-year-old Japanese woman who loves playing the board game, Othello, has been honoured as the world’s oldest living person by Guinness World Records.

The global authority on records officially recognised Kane Tanaka in a ceremony at the nursing home where she lives in Fukuoka, in Japan’s southwest.

Her family and the mayor were present to celebrate.

Ms Tanaka was born January 2nd, 1903, the seventh of eight children. She married Hideo Tanaka in 1922, and they had four children and adopted a fifth.

She is usually up by 6am and enjoys studying mathematics.

The previous oldest living person was another Japanese woman, Chiyo Miyako, who died in July at the age of 117. The oldest person prior to that was also Japanese.

Japanese people tend to exhibit longevity and dominate the oldest-person list.

Although changing dietary habits mean obesity has been rising, it is still relatively rare in a nation whose culinary tradition focuses on fish, rice, vegetables and other food low in fat.

Kane Tanaka poses with her Guinness World Records certificate at a nursing home where she lives in Fukuoka, Japan on Saturday. Photograph: Takuto Kaneko/Kyodo News via AP
Kane Tanaka poses with her Guinness World Records certificate at a nursing home where she lives in Fukuoka, Japan on Saturday. Photograph: Takuto Kaneko/Kyodo News via AP

Age is also traditionally respected here, meaning people stay active and feel useful into their 80s and beyond.

But Ms Tanaka has a way to go before she is the oldest person ever, an achievement of a French woman, Jeanne Louise Calment, who lived to 122 years, according to Guinness World Records.

Guinness said the world’s oldest man is still under investigation after the man who had the honour, Masazo Nonaka, who lived on the Japanese northernmost island of Hokkaido, died in January at the age of 113. – AP