Kane Tanaka: World’s oldest person dies in Japan aged 119

Tanaka became certified by the Guinness World Records as the oldest living person in 2019

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar
Monday 25 April 2022 12:06
Comments
116-year-old Japanese woman named world's oldest person in 2019
Leer en Español

Kane Tanaka, a Japanese woman certified as the oldest person in the world, has died at the age of 119.

Local officials said Tanaka died of old age in hospital in Fukuoka city, western Japan, on Tuesday last week.

Born on 2 January 1903, Tanaka was confirmed by the Guinness World Records as the oldest living person in 2019.

She was living at a nursing home and was in relatively good health until recently, enjoying playing board games, solving maths problems, drinking soda and eating chocolate.

There had been plans for Tanaka to take part in the torch relay for the Tokyo Olympics in a wheelchair, but she was deterred by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Japan Times reported.

Guinness World Records responded to the news of Tanaka’s death on Monday, noting that she “became the oldest living person in January 2019 at the age of 116 years and 28 days”.

“She is also the second oldest person ever recorded, behind only Jeanne Calment who lived to the age of 122,” the post said.

According to social media posts made by Tanaka’s family on 13 April, she had been “hospitalised and discharged repeatedly”.

Her family said that she had a sweet tooth that persisted into her final years, and that she continued to enjoy chocolate and soda.

Tanaka was quoted in posts by her family as saying: “I was able to come this far with the support of many people. I hope you will continue to have fun, [and be] cheerful and energetic.”

This year marks a century since she married her husband Hideo Tanaka in 1922, and the couple had five children. In her early years she ran a noodle shop and a rice cake store among other businesses to sustain her family.

Her routine in the nursing home included waking up at 6.00am and spending afternoons studying mathematics and practising calligraphy.

“One of Kane’s favourite pastimes is a game of Othello and she’s become an expert at the classic board game, often beating rest-home staff,” Guinness World Records was quoted by AFP as saying.

Seitaro Hattori, the governor of Fukuoka, hailed Tanaka in a statement marking her death.

“I am extremely saddened by the news,” he said. “I was looking forward to seeing Kane-san on this year’s Respect for the Aged Day and celebrating together with her favourite soda and chocolate.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in