Japanese oldest person in the world reaches 119 years of age

Japanese oldest person in the world reaches 119 years of age

Kanako Mita and Sawako Utsumi

Modern Tokyo Times

Kane Tanaka (born Kane Ota) was born in Japan on January 2, 1903. Hence, she reached the ripe old age of 119 yesterday. Therefore, one can only imagine the major changes she witnessed throughout her life – both good and bad.

Tanaka was born during the revolutionary period of the Meiji Restoration (1868-1912). Ironically, she was born prematurely. However, with the love of her family – and being raised on breast milk – she survived the early struggle to become the oldest living person in the world in early 2022. 

After several personal family tragedies, her dogged persistence continued unabated. After World War Two, she converted to the Christian faith. Once retired, she traveled to see family members in America. 

Her husband passed away when he reached the age of 90. Their marriage lasted 71 years and witnessed enormous internal changes throughout Japan. The same applies to important inventions that seemed unimaginable when she was a small child.

Remarkably, Tanaka survived pancreatic cancer after undergoing surgery when she was 45. Then, when 103, she survived colorectal cancer after successful surgery. A book about her was published titled Good and Bad Times, 107 Years Old.

Despite the horrendous international death toll from coronavirus (Covid-19), you now have over 86,000 people aged 100 or over in Japan. Indeed, coronavirus deaths are relatively low despite the sizeable elderly population. 

Inventions throughout her life include radio broadcasting (1906), neon lamps (1910), sonar (1916), insulin (1921), robots (1921), helicopters (1939), the kidney dialysis machine (1944), microwave ovens (1946), artificial intelligence (1947), credit cards (1950), the transistor radio (1953), structurally modified antibiotics (1955), polio vaccine (1955), the cardiac pacemaker (1960), a man in space (1961), computer mouse (1964), artificial heart (1968), floppy disc (1971), and countless other inventions throughout her life in the following 50 years. Of course, other inventions were created from her early age to the floppy disc – and following the next 50 years. 

Overall, the longevity of the life of Tanaka is remarkable. It is hoped that Tanaka will reach 120 because she hopes to reach this hallmark.

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