World’s Oldest Person, Kane Tanaka, Dies at 119 in Japan

Kane Tanaka is the third “oldest” person to be verified by Guinness World Records. / Kyodo via AP

Kane Tanaka, a Japanese woman who was certified as the world’s oldest person, died last Tuesday at 119 years old. Officials reported that the supercentenarian died of old age at a hospital in Fukuoka city, the Independent reported.

A week before her death, Tanaka’s family had posted a tweet claiming that she’d recently been “hospitalized and discharged repeatedly,” but was still enjoying chocolate and fizzy drinks — reportedly her favorite foods, ABC reported.

She was quoted by her relatives 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.”

Born Jan. 2, 1903, in the Fukuoka Prefecture, Tanaka was confirmed by Guinness in 2019 as the oldest person on Earth at the age of 116 years. To put the super senior’s age in perspective, Tanaka was born the same year as pop singer Bing Crosby, baseball legend Lou Gehrig and civil rights leader Ella Baker. That year, the first west-east transatlantic radio broadcast was sent from the United States to England, and Orville and Wilbur Wright achieved the world’s first-ever airplane flight.

The news marks the end of a long and fruitful life for Tanaka, who was the seventh born out of nine siblings and got married at the age of 19, Kyodo reports. She reportedly took over her family’s noodle shop when her husband and eldest son left to fight in the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1937. Tanaka’s late husband, Hideo, died in 1993.

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SOURCE: New York Post, Ben Cost