Japanese woman Kane Tanaka, officially certified as the world’s oldest person, has died at 119.
Born the same year as famed writer George Orwell in 1903, Tanaka died of natural causes at a hospital in southwestern Fukuoka city on April 19, Japanese public broadcaster NHK reported on Monday, April 25.
Originally from the Fukuoka region in Japan, Tanaka was confirmed the world’s oldest person in 2019 by the Guinness Book of Records.
She spent the last years of her life in a nursing home in Japan, enjoying tea and chocolates, playing board games, and solving maths problems.
Tanaka got married over a century ago, in 1922. She gave birth to four children and adopted a fifth. In her hey-days, she ran various businesses, including a rice cake shop and a noodle shop.
Speaking of her death, the Local Governor, Seitaro Hattori hailed Tanaka’s life and said he was “extremely saddened” at her death.
“I was looking forward to seeing Kane-san on this year’s Respect for the Aged Day (a national holiday in September) and celebrating together with her favourite soda and chocolate,” he said in a statement on Monday.
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Japan has a large population of elderly citizens, especially women. As of last September, the country had 86,510 centenarians. Nine out of every 10 were women.
With Kane Tanaka’s demise, Lucile Randon has become the world’s oldest known person.
Randon, better known as Sister Andre, was born on February 11, 1904, in Southern France. She recently celebrated her 118th birthday and lives in a nursing home in Toulon along the Mediterranean coast of France.
The oldest person who ever lived remains Frenchwoman Jeanne Louise Calment, who died at age 122 in 1997.
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