World’s old­est per­son dies aged 117 in Ja­pan

The China Post - - GUIDE POST -

The world’s old­est per­son, a Ja­panese woman, died Wed­nes­day, a few weeks af­ter cel­e­brat­ing her 117th birth­day.

Misao Okawa died of heart fail­ure and stopped breath­ing as rel­a­tives and nurs­ing home work­ers stood by her side and praised her for achiev­ing a long, healthy life, said Tomohiro Okada, an of­fi­cial at her Osaka nurs­ing home.

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

A 116-year-old Amer­i­can woman, Gertrude Weaver of Arkansas, is now the world’s old­est per­son, ac­cord­ing to Los An­ge­les-based Geron­tol­ogy Re­search Group, which keeps records of su­per­cente­nar­i­ans. She was born July 4, 1898.

Okawa, born in Osaka on March 5, 1898, was rec­og­nized as the world’s old­est per­son by Guin­ness World Records in 2013.

She lost her ap­petite about 10 days ago. Un­til then, she had been eat­ing well, en­joy­ing her daily cup of cof­fee and her fa­vorite dishes, in­clud­ing ra­men, Okada said.

Okawa, the daugh­ter of a ki­mono maker, said at her re­cent birth­day cel­e­bra­tion that her life seemed rather short. Asked for the se­cret of her longevity, she re­sponded non­cha­lantly, “I won­der about that too.”

She mar­ried her hus­band, Yukio, in 1919, and they had two daugh­ters and a son. She was sur­vived by four grand­chil­dren and six great-grand­chil­dren. Her hus­band died in 1931.

Ja­pan’s old­est per­son is now a 115-year-old Tokyo woman, ac­cord­ing to the Min­istry of Health, La­bor and Wel- fare. The name of the woman, who was born March 15, 1900, was not re­leased at the re­quest of her fam­ily, the min­istry said.

Ja­pan has the most cen­te­nar­i­ans in the world, with more than 58,000, ac­cord­ing to the gov­ern­ment. About 87 per­cent of them are women.

AP

In this March 5 file photo, Ja­pan’s Misao Okawa who is rec­og­nized as the world’s old­est living per­son by Guin­ness World Records, eats cake, helped by her nurs­ing home staff mem­ber, dur­ing her 117th birth­day cel­e­bra­tion event at a nurs­ing home in Osaka, west­ern Ja­pan.

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