Japan’s Kane Tanaka, Guinness’ oldest person in the world, dies at 119


Kane Tanaka, a Japanese woman who was the world’s oldest person, has died at the age of 119, Japanese authorities said.

Born in 1903, Tanaka was the world’s oldest human being as verified by the Guinness Book of World Records — and the second-oldest person of all time.

Japan’s health ministry said that Tanaka died on April 19, making her 119 years and 107 days old.

“We’re sad to report that Kane Tanaka has passed away at the age of 119,” the Guinness Book of World Records said in a tweet Monday. “Kane was the oldest living person in the world.”

“She became the oldest living person in January 2019 at the age of 116 years and 28 days,” Guinness added. “She is also the second oldest person ever recorded, behind only Jeanne Calment who lived to the age of 122.”

Tanaka’s family tweeted earlier this month that she’d recently been in and out of a hospital. She’d celebrated her final birthday on Jan. 2 of this year.

Tanaka, the seventh of nine siblings, married Hideo Tanaka four days after her 19th birthday in 1922. Together they had four children and adopted a fifth.

Tanaka’s longevity is surprising considering that the life expectancy for women in Japan is 88. For men, it’s 82. Worldwide, the life expectancy of women is about 75.

Guinness’ previous oldest living man, Japan’s Chitetsu Watanabe, died in 2020 at 112 years and 344 days.

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