World’s oldest woman hits the age of 116 in Japan

World’s oldest woman hits the age of 116 in Japan

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TOKYO: Kane Tanaka wakes up at 6 a.m. each day, likes to study math and other subjects for fun and competes fiercely in the board game Othello.

It’s proven to be a pretty good combination for the 116-year-old from Fukuoka, Japan.

Tanaka’s recognition was celebrated at the nursing home where she lives in western Japan’s Fukuoka by city mayor Soichiro Takashima and other well-wishers.

Asked what moment she was the most happy in life, she replied: “Now.”

Tanaka, the youngest of seven children of Kumakichi and Kuma Ota, was born prematurely on Jan. 2,  1903, when the Wright brothers launched humanity’s first powered flight, according to Guinness and Theodore Roosevelt was president of the United States and World War I was still a full decade away from changing geopolitics forever.

She married Hideo Tanaka in 1922, giving birth to four children and adopting a fifth.

Hideo Tanaka operated a family business that produced sticky rice and Udon noodles.

She was recognized at a ceremony at her nursing home where she was given a commemorative framed certificate and a box of chocolates. She started eating the chocolates immediately, Guinness said, and responded with “100” when asked how many she planned to eat that day.

“One of Kane’s favourite pastimes is a game of Othello and she’s become an expert at the classic board game, often beating rest-home staff,” Guinness said.

Japan has one of the world’s highest life expectancies and has been home to several people recognised as among the oldest humans to have ever lived.

They include Jiroemon Kimura, the longest-living man on record, who died soon after his 116th birthday in June 2013.

To become the oldest person ever recorded, Kane Tanaka would need to live another six years to surpass the record held by Jeanne Louise Calment of France for the past 22 years. Calment, born Feb. 21, 1875, died in at the age of 122 years and 164 days on Aug. 4, 1997.

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