World's oldest person Misao Okawa dies at the age of 117

Japanese woman Misao Okawa died of heart failure in Osaka

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The world’s oldest person has died in Japan at the age of 117.

Misao Okawa, who reached her 117th birthday earlier this month, died of heart failure at her nursing home in Japan.

She was surrounded by her relatives and the staff of the home, who praised her for achieving a long and healthy life, Tomohiro Okada, an official at the home in Osaka, said.

Misao Okawaw with Takehiro Ogura (R), mayor of Osaka's Higashi-Sumiyoshi Ward

Okawa was born in 1898 and is survived by her grandchildren and great grandchildren

Okawa was eating well and enjoying her favourite dishes, which included ramen, and her daily cup of coffee, until she lost her appetite around 10 days ago, Okada said.

“She went so peacefully, as if she had just fallen asleep,” he added. “We miss her a lot”.

An American woman is now the oldest person in the world. Gertrude Weaver, of Arkansas, is 116, according to the Los Angeles-based Gerontology Research Centre. Weaver was born on 4 July 1898.


Okawa was born in Osaka on 5 March in 1898 and was officially recognised as the world’s oldest person by the Guinness World Records in 2013, though a Mexican woman named Leandra Lumbreras was claimed to have the same title last year. She was 127 and died earlier this month.

The super-centenarian said at her birthday celebrations this year that her life had seemed rather short, and when asked about what her secret to enjoying such a long life was, she simply replied: “I wonder about that, too.”

The super-centenarian was a daughter of a kimono maker. She married her husband, Yukio, in 1919. The couple had two daughters and a son together before Yukio died in 1931.

Okawa on her 115th birthday

Okawa is survived by four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

A woman in Tokyo aged 115, who has not been named, is now the oldest person in Japan, according to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.

Japan has more than 58,000 centenarians according to the government – the most in the world – and around 87 per cent of them are women.