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Japan's Kane Tanaka breaks personal record as oldest living person at 119

Written by: Nicole Castro

Published on: January 3, 2021 at 19:03 PHT (GMT+8)

Happy 119th birthday to Japan's Kane Tanaka! She currently holds the Guinness World Records title for oldest living person.

Tanaka was born on Jan. 2, 1903 in Fukuoka Prefecture. She turned 119 years old yesterday, Jan. 2, 2022. She was born a year before the Russo-Japanese War began and has lived through Japan's Meiji, Taisho, Showa, Heisei and current Reiwa eras. She and her family are hoping for a longer life till 120.

Kane Tanaka | PHOTO COURTESY: The Japan Times

Tanaka was recognized by Guinness World Records in March 2019 as the world's oldest living person at 116 years old and also achieved an all-time Japanese age record when she became 117 years and 261 days old. She is the seventh of nine siblings. She got married at the age of 19 and supported her family by running a noodle shop when her husband and eldest son went to fight in the Second Sino-Japanese War that started in 1937.

She is currently residing in a nursing home in Fukuoka and is fond of chocolate and carbonated drinks.

Japan is well known for its long life spans, with the number of centenarians estimated to have hit a record 86,510 in 2021. At present, Tanaka is the oldest living Japanese female and person overall, while the oldest living Japanese male is Mikizo Ueda, a 111-year-old resident of Nara Prefecture.

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