By Lee Bullen
Guinness World Records has announced that the world’s oldest person, Japanese woman Kane Tanaka, has died aged 119.
Confirmed as the oldest woman and oldest living person in 2019, Tanaka passed away on April 19 in a hospital in Fukuokain southern Japan.
“The news has been confirmed by Senior Gerontology Consultant Robert Young, who also helped confirm Tanaka’s record as the oldest person living and oldest person living (female) in 2019,” Guinness World Records said in a statement.
“According to a tweet posted by Kane’s family on the April 13th 2022, she had recently been ‘hospitalized and discharged repeatedly’,” the statement added.
Guinness World Records said Kane reached “a remarkable milestone” by living for 119 years.
Born as the seventh child of Kumakichi and Kuma Ota, Kane came into the world on January 2nd 1903, the same year the Wright brothers flew for the first time, the first baseball World Series was played and
She spent her final years at a rest home in the Japanese city of Fukuoka where she liked to play board games and solve maths puzzles.
Guinness World Records said: “Kane was selected as one of the torchbearers for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay, though her participation was called off due to COVID-19.
“She was also known to have a sweet tooth – on the day her official Guinness World Records certificate was presented to her, she also received a box of chocolates, which she immediately opened and started eating.
“Even in her final days, her family said she still had an appetite for chocolate and cola.”
Guinness World Records said Kane was “just a few years away from becoming the oldest person ever (female), a title which still belongs to Jeanne Louise Calment”.
Born on February 21st, 1875, and living until 4th August 1997, Calment passed away aged 122 years and 164 days.
The oldest ever man was Jiroemon Kimura from Japan, who was born on April 19th, 1897, and died aged 116 years and 54 days on 12th June 2013.
Guinness World Records said they “sent their deepest condolences to Kane’s family”, adding: “The titles of oldest person living and oldest person living (female) are currently being investigated. Further information will be announced upon confirmation of the next record holder.”
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