World’s oldest living person celebrates her 119th birthday in Fukuoka, Japan

The oldest living person in the world, Kane Tanaka, celebrated her 119th birthday in Fukuoka, Japan today January 2; and a member of her family revealed that Tanaka’s birthday wish is to celebrate her 120th birthday next year, according to the The Sankei News.

Tanaka was born in 1903, the year the Wright brothers made the first successful powered flight. Notable people born in 1903 included George Orwell, Anaïs Nin, and John Dillinger, but Kane Tanaka has far outlived her peers to become the last living person to have been born in that year.

In 2019, Kane Tanaka was certified by the Guinness Book of World Records to be the longest living person in existence, and she also holds the record for the longest verified living person in Japan, ever; and the third longest living person ever in the world. 

Tanaka was born in Fukuoka January 2, 1903 as Kane Ota, married in 1922, and was widowed when her husband of 71 years died at the age of 90 in 1993. When atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War Two, Tanaka was 42, and Tanaka witnessed the first moon landing at the age of 66.

Tanaka, a devoted Christian, lives in an elderly care facility in Fukuoka where she likes to play Othello, and do calligraphy and arithmetic to pass the time. She communicates with the staff through gestures, and likes to eat chocolate and drink carbonated drinks.

Tanaka has five grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren

Kane Tanaka at age 20
Kane Tanaka at age 20. Picture from Wikipedia.
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