World's oldest person dies after living to the second-highest age ever recorded

Japan - The oldest person in the world, a Japanese woman called Kane Tanaka, has died at the age of 119, the local government in Fukuoka where she lived in south-western Japan reported on Monday.

Kane Tanaka died as the world's second-oldest person ever, following Jeanne Louise Calment of France who died at age 122 in 1997.
Kane Tanaka died as the world's second-oldest person ever, following Jeanne Louise Calment of France who died at age 122 in 1997.  © REUTERS

Tanaka, who lived through the reigns of five Japanese emperors, died on Tuesday last week.

According to the Gerontology Research Group, the oldest person in the world is now the French woman Lucile Randon, who is aged 118 years and 73 days. Japan's oldest person is Fusa Tatsumi from Kashiwara in Osaka prefecture. She is 115.

Tanaka was born on January 2, 1903, as the seventh in a family of eight children. She married at the age of 19 in 1922, having four children of her own and adopting a fifth.

When her husband and oldest son went away to the war with China that began in 1937, she kept the family going with her shop selling noodles. And after the war, the family ran a rice-cake business.

The Guinness Book of Records listed her as the oldest person in the world when she was 116. Her age was the second-highest ever recorded, after France's Jeanne Louise Calment's, who lived to be 122.

Tanaka had a passion for mathematics and for the board game Othello. According to reports, she was accustomed to rising at 6 in the morning and going to bed at 9 in the evening.

Asked about her longevity, she said eating tasty food and studying were her secrets. Chocolate was among her favorite treats.

Cover photo: REUTERS

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