World's oldest woman turns 116 in Japan

The world's oldest woman was celebrating her 116th birthday on Wednesday in a Japanese nursing home with a cake and candles.

Misao Okawa, a descendant of kimono merchants in the city of Osaka, western Japan, received a visit from town mayor Takehiro Ogura earlier this week ahead of her birthday, a nursing home employee said.

Wearing a pink kimono with a red flower headdress, Okawa was presented with a bouquet by the mayor at the facility near her own home.

Asked for a comment on this year's birthday, the centenarian said: "It's quite a long time."

She will be given a cake with candles decorated with numbers, 116, later Wednesday to celebrate the day with fellow residents and family members, the employee said.

"She is in good shape, and is even still gaining weight," the employee said.

"She eats sushi, her favourite, and whatever she likes—beef stew, spaghetti, sashimi every day.

"She always says the secret to living a long time is to eat a good meal and relax," he added.

Okawa last year received a certificate from Guinness World Records confirming her status as the oldest living woman.

She was born on March 5, 1898 and married in 1919, having three children, four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren, local media said.

Japan, known for the longevity of its people, was home to the oldest man ever to have lived—Jiroemon Kimura, who died in June 2013 at the age of 116.

Around a quarter of Japan's population of 128 million is aged 65 or older.

The figure, already one of the highest proportions in the world, is expected to rise to around 40 percent over coming decades.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

World's oldest woman turns 115 in Japan

Mar 05, 2013

The world's oldest woman celebrated her 115th birthday on Tuesday in a Japanese nursing home with her favourite mackerel sushi dish on the menu.

Recommended for you

US must respond to global health outbreaks, say bioethicists

2 hours ago

Last summer, West Africa fell into the grip of a deadly outbreak of Ebola that has thus far taken the lives of more than 9,500 people. The fear swept up by the epidemic quickly jumped across the Atlantic and landed in the ...

Uganda on defensive over medical 'brain drain' uproar

Mar 03, 2015

Uganda's government on Tuesday hit back at mounting criticism of plans to 'export' over 200 health workers to the Caribbean, insisting it was only seeking to regulate an existing labour market and prevent abuses.

Seth Mnookin on vaccination and public health

Mar 02, 2015

Seth Mnookin, an assistant professor of science writing and associate director of MIT's Graduate Program in Science Writing, is the author of "The Panic Virus: The True Story Behind the Vaccine-Autism Controversy" ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.