Kane Tanaka, the oldest living person according to the Guinness World Records, celebrated her 119th birthday on January 2, 2022. She broke the record in 2019 when she celebrated her 116th birthday.
Tanaka was born on January 2, 1903, 11 months before the Wright brothers flew the first plane. At the age of 119, Tanaka has survived two world wars, two global pandemics and five Japanese eras.
She lives in a nursing home in the Fukuoka Prefecture in southern Japan.
Who is Kane Tanaka?
According to Wikipedia, Kane Tanaka was born in 1903 to the Ota family, close to the end of the Meiji period. They lived near Fukuoka prefecture and had nine children, with Tanaka being the seventh sibling.
She married her cousin Hideo in 1922 at the age of 19 and began working at the family noodle shop with her husband. The couple had four birth children and one adopted daughter, all of whom died at an early age.
Tanaka saw her husband and sons go to the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1937, with all of them eventually returning home. Tanaka's husband died at the age of 90.
Kane Tanaka has survived two cancer surgeries, one of which was at the age of 103. She has been residing at her nursing home since 2018 and was reported to be in good health until 118 years of age.
Guinness World Records named Kane Tanaka as the "World's Oldest Living Person" and "World's Oldest Living Woman" two years ago, on March 9, 2019. She also became the longest-living Japanese person after crossing the age of 117 years, 260 days, and is the third person recorded to have lived this long.
On being questioned, she attributes her long life to healthy living and mental exercise through arithmetic puzzles. She has an affinity for chocolates and carbonated drinks. Tanaka received two coke bottles from Coca-Cola with her name and age on the bottle as a gift.
The record-holder was all set to carry the torch for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but it got postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Birthday wishes from family and followers
Kane Tanaka is receiving birthday wishes from all over the world. Her great-granddaughter posted a picture of her on Twitter with the message:
"Great achievement. (Kane Tanaka) reached 119 years of age, I hope you'll continue to live life cheerfully and to the fullest."
Her grandson Eji Tanaka said in an interview,
"I would like to personally congratulate her soon. I hope she remains healthy and has fun every day as she grows older."
Many users took to Twitter to convey birthday greetings to the 119-year-old:
Kane Tanaka aims to live for at least 120 years. She has a family of five grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren cheering her on.