Kane Tanaka

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Kane Tanaka
Tanaka in 1923
Born(1903-01-02)2 January 1903
Wajiro Village, Japan
(present-day Higashi-ku, Fukuoka, Japan)
Died(2022-04-19)19 April 2022
(aged 119 years, 107 days)[1]
Known for
  • Oldest verified living person (22 July 2018 - 19 April 2022)
  • Longest-lived Japanese
  • 2nd oldest person in history
Hideo Tanaka
(m. 1922; his death 1993)

Kane Tanaka (田中カ子, Tanaka Kane, 2 January 1903 – 19 April 2022) was a Japanese supercentenarian. She was the world's oldest verified living person from 22 July 2018 until her death on 19 April 2022.[2]

She is the second-oldest verified person (behind Jeanne Calment) and the oldest verified Japanese and Asian person ever, after passing the record of Nabi Tajima in September 2020.[3][4]

Biography[change | change source]

Tanaka lived in Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan.[5] She credited family, sleep and hope as her secrets for long age. She was married to Hideo Tanaka from 1922 until his death in 1993. They had five children Nobuo Tanaka, Etsuko Tanaka, Tsuneo Tanaka,Kazuko Tanaka, and her adopted daughter Haturo Tanaka 1922 to 1945.

She married Hideo Tanaka at age 19 and was in charge of an udon noodle shop when her husband and eldest son Nobuo were sent to fight in World War II.[6] After the war, she and her husband became Christians and ran a rice shop together.[6]

She lived through all five imperial reigns that make up modern day Japan, with the first, the Meiji era, having ended in 1912.[7]

Tanaka said that she wanted to live to the age of 120, saying her faith in God, family, sleep, hope, eating good food, and practicing mathematics has helped her live a long life.[8] Her long life along with that of Jeanne Calment and Sarah Knauss has created the debate that the maximum lifespan for humans could be 115–125 years.[9][10]

Tanaka was supposed to hold the Olympic torch at the 2020 Summer Olympics, but decided not to because of an increase in COVID-19 cases in Japan.[11]

Tanaka died in a hospital in Fukuoka, on 19 April 2022, nine days after becoming the second oldest verified person ever. Her death was announced on 25 April.[12][13] Her funeral was held on 29 April 2022.[14]

Longevity milestones[change | change source]

  • 22 July 2018 - Chiyo Miyako died. Kane Tanaka, aged 115 years and 201 days, become the world's oldest living person.[15]
  • 18 June 2019 - Maria-Giuseppa Robucci died. Kane Tanaka became the last verified surviving person born in 1903.
  • 2 January 2020 – Kane Tanaka became the 9th verified person in history to reach age 117, and the 4th Japanese person to do so.
  • 19 September 2020 - Broke the record of longest-lived Japanese person, as well as the 3rd-oldest person in the history, after surpassing Nabi Tajima's age of 117 years, 260 days.[3]
  • 2 January 2021 – Kane Tanaka became the 3rd verified person in history to reach age 118, and the first to do so since Sarah Knauss, who celebrated her 118th birthday on September 24, 1998.
  • 2 January 2022 – Kane Tanaka became the 3rd verified person in history to reach age 119, and the first to do so since Sarah Knauss, who celebrated her 119th birthday on September 24, 1999.
  • 10 April 2022 - With the age of 119 years and 98 days, surpassed the lifespan of Sarah Knauss to become the 2nd-oldest verified person.
  • 19 April 2022 - Died at the age of 119 years and 107 days. With Tanaka's death, Lucile Randon become the oldest recognised living person.

Related pages[change | change source]

  • Jiroemon Kimura, the oldest man ever in Japan. Kane Tanaka died on the day of what would've been his 125th birthday.

References[change | change source]

  1. "119歳 福岡市の田中カ子さん死去 ギネスで世界最高齢に認定". NHK News Web. 25 April 2022. Retrieved 25 April 2022.
  2. "Validated Living Supercentenarians". grg.org. Gerontology Research Group. 19 October 2017. Archived from the original on 29 April 2016. Retrieved 20 October 2017. The Gerontology Research Group(GRG) lists people as living whose age has been validated and confirmed to be alive within the past year.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "117-year-old granny sets new record as Japan's oldest ever person". Kyodo News+. Retrieved 2021-04-29.
  4. McCurry, Justin (2020-09-21). "Woman, 117, marks becoming Japan's oldest ever person with cola and boardgames". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2021-04-29.
  5. Kyodo. "Japan's oldest person Chiyo Miyako dies at 117". The Japan Times. Archived from the original on July 26, 2018. Retrieved July 26, 2018.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "117-yr-old woman recognized as Japan's oldest ever person". 19 September 2020 – via Mainichi Daily News.
  7. McCurry, Justin (3 January 2022). "World's oldest person celebrates 119th birthday in Japan nursing home". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 January 2022.
  8. *Brennan, David (27 July 2018). "Who is the World's oldest Person? Chiyo Miyako Dies At 117, Passing Title To Kane Tanaka". Newsweek. Retrieved 27 July 2018.
  9. "World's oldest person turns 119, hopes to reach her 120th birthday". New York Post. 4 January 2022. Retrieved 4 January 2022.
  10. Sergey Young (2021). Breaking the "Sound Barrier" of Lifespan. BenBella Books. ISBN 9781953295392. {{cite book}}: |work= ignored (help)
  11. "Tokyo Olympics: World's oldest person pulls out of torch relay". BBC News. 6 May 2021. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
  12. Mills, Kelly-Ann (2022-04-25). "World's oldest person Kane Tanaka dies in Japan at the age of 119". mirror. Retrieved 2022-04-25.
  13. "The world's oldest person has died in Japan". The Independent. 2022-04-25. Retrieved 2022-04-25.
  14. "世界最高齢119歳の田中力子さん 葬儀で最後のお別れ 好物のコーラも祭壇に 福岡市". West Japan TV (in Japanese). 2022-04-29. Retrieved 2022-07-22.
  15. Table C - World's Oldest Person (WOP) Titleholders Since 1955 Gerontology Research Group
Preceded by
Chiyo Miyako
Oldest verified living person[broken anchor]
22 July 2018 — 19 April 2022
Succeeded by
Lucile Randon