World's Oldest Person Kane Tanaka Dies At The Age Of 119

A woman certified as the oldest person in the world has died at the age of 119.
Credit: Newscom / Alamy
According to local officials, Kane Tanaka - a centenarian from Japan - died of old age in hospital in Fukuoka city, western Japan, last Tuesday.

CBS News reports that Tanaka was born in the Fukuoka region on January 2, 1903 - the same year that the Wright brothers flew for the first time and that Marie Curie became the first woman to win a Nobel Prize.

Tanaka had enjoyed an existence of good health until recently and resided at a nursing home, where she played board games, solved math problems, drank soda, and ate chocolate.

When she was younger, Tanaka ran a number of businesses including a noodle shop and a rice cake store. She married Hideo Tanaka exactly a century ago in 1922, and would eventually go on to birth four children and adopt a fifth.

She reportedly hoped to use a wheelchair to participate in the torch relay for the Tokyo Olympics last year - but was prevented from doing so due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic
Credit: Newscom / Alamy
When asked by the Guinness World Records in 2019 what moment had been her happiest, she responded: "Now."

Her daily routine saw her wake up at 6:00 AM and spend afternoons studying math and practicing calligraphy.

"One of Kane's favorite pastimes is a game of Othello and she's become an expert at the classic board game, often beating rest-home staff," Guinness said.

Local governor Seitaro Hattori spoke about Tanaka and her long life after she passed away.

"I was looking forward to seeing Kane-san on this year's Respect for the Aged Day (a national holiday in September) and celebrating together with her favorite soda and chocolate," he said in a statement on Monday. "I am extremely saddened by the news."

According to World Bank data, Japan has the highest proportion of elderly people in the world, with about 28 percent aged 65 or over.

The oldest-ever living person to be verified by Guinness was a French woman by the name of Jeanne Louise Calment, who died at the age of 122 years and 164 days back in 1997.

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