World's oldest person dies in Japan at 116
Tokyo (Agencies): The world's oldest person, and the oldest man in recorded history, died in western Japan at the age of 116 on Wednesday. Japanese...
Tokyo (Agencies): The world's oldest person, and the oldest man in recorded history, died in western Japan at the age of 116 on Wednesday. Japanese officials said Jiroemon Kimura died of natural causes in a hospital near Kyoto where he had been receiving treatment for pneumonia. Guinness World Records says Kimura, who was born in 1897, is the world's only man to have lived to 116 years of age. It recognized him as the world's oldest living person in December, after a US woman died at the age of 115. Kimura was only the third man in history to reach 115 years of age, according to Guinness. He was one of just four male super-centenarians, or people 110 years or older, known to be alive as of December, Guinness said at the time. Kimura is survived by seven children, 14 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren, and 15 great-great-grandchildren. With Kimura's death, 115-year-old Misao Okawa, a Japanese woman from Osaka, is now the world's oldest person. Born on April 19, 1897, when Queen Victoria still reigned over the British Empire, Kimura dodged childhood killers such as tuberculosis and pneumonia that kept life expectancy in Japan to 44 years around the time of his birth. He became the oldest man in recorded history on December 28, 2012, at the age of 115 years and 253 days. The oldest woman in recorded history, France's Jeanne Calment, died in 1997 at the age of 122. According to Kimura's nephew Tamotsu Miyake, his birthday was actually on March 19. Records say he was born on April 19 because an official misprinted the month when records from merging towns were consolidated in 1955, the nephew said. After finishing school at the age of 14 as the second-best student in his class, Kimura worked at local post offices for 45 years until his retirement in 1962 at the age of 65. He also worked at a government communication unit in Korea in the 1920s, when the peninsula was under Japanese rule, and returned to marry his neighbor Yae Kimura. After retiring, he enjoyed reading newspapers and watching sumo wrestling on television. He sometimes helped his son farm until he was about 90 years old. In an interview on his 115th birthday, Kimura said he was not sure why he was able to live so long. "Maybe it's all thanks to the sun above me," he said. "I am always looking up towards the sky; that is how I am." He said his secret to his longevity was eating light to live long.