Oldest Living Person Dies in Japan at 116
NAHA, Japan — A Japanese man who was the world’s oldest living person, and the longest-lived man in recorded history, died Wednesday at the age of 116 at a hospital near the city of Kyoto.
Jiroemon Kimura, a retired postal worker who was born in 1897, and who worked before World War II in what was then the Japanese colony of Korea, died of natural causes in the city of Kyotango, local media said. He had been hospitalized for a month for pneumonia and blood-sugar problems, the reports said.
In his final years, Mr. Kimura was widely quoted as advising people to “eat light to live longer,” attributing his own longevity to consuming only healthy food in moderate portions. Japanese media said he had seven children, 14 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren and 15 great-great grandchildren, though they did not say if all were still alive.
With Mr. Kimura’s death, the title of oldest living person goes to another Japanese, Misao Okawa, a 115-year-old women in the city of Osaka. Japan has the world’s longest life expectancies, a fact that Japanese themselves often attribute to a low-fat diet heavy in fish, and also to affordable health care.
Like Mr. Kimura, Ms. Okawa, who was born in 1898, is one of the last people who has lived through three different centuries. Both were born while Queen Victoria still reigned in Britain.
According to the Guinness World Records, Mr. Kimura became the oldest living man in documented history on Dec. 27, when he surpassed the mark left by a Danish-born American, Christian Mortensen, who died in 1998 at 115 years and 252 days.