Japanese woman, 116, named world’s oldest living person

Japanese woman, 116, named world's oldest living person

Japan’s Kane Tanaka, 116, recognised by Guinness World Records as the world’s oldest living person. Photograph: AP

A 116-year-old Japanese woman who loves playing the board game Othello has been named the world’s oldest living person by Guinness World Records.

Kane Tanaka was recognised in a ceremony on Saturday at the nursing home where she lives in Fukuoka, in Japan’s south-west.

Tanaka was born 2 January 1903, the seventh of eight children. She married Hideo Tanaka in 1922, and they had four children and adopted another child.

She is usually up by 6am and enjoys studying mathematics.

Japanese centenarian population edges towards 70,000

The previous oldest living person was another Japanese woman, Chiyo Miyako, who died in July at age 117.

Japanese tend to exhibit longevity and dominate the oldest-person list. Although changing dietary habits means obesity has been rising, it’s still relatively rare in a nation whose culinary tradition focuses on fish, rice, vegetables and other food low in fat. Age is also traditionally respected in Japan, so people stay active into their 80s and beyond.

A French woman, Jeanne Louise Calment, is recorded as the person who reached the oldest again, dying at 122, according to Guinness World Records.

Guinness said the world’s oldest man is still under investigation after Masazo Nonaka, living on the northernmost Japanese island of Hokkaido, died in January at 113.

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