The world's oldest living person has just turned 119.
Kane Tanaka celebrated her birthday on Sunday at an assisted living facility in Higashi Ward, Fukuoka, Japan, according to Fox News.
Born as the seventh of nine siblings on Jan. 2, 1903, in Fukuoka Prefecture, Tanaka got married at age 19. Her husband and eldest son went to fight in the Second Sino-Japanese War that started in 1937, during which time Tanaka took over running the family's noodle shop. Her husband, Hideo, died in 1993.
Tanaka has taken precautions to stay healthy throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, including skipping the postponed 2020 Tokyo Olympics' torch relay over the summer due to an influx in coronavirus cases in Japan at the time.
She keeps her mind sharp by solving number puzzles and although it is unclear what diet she follows, Tanaka does like to indulge in chocolate and carbonated drinks. It appears her family is keeping their social distance.
"I would like to personally congratulate her soon," Tanaka's 62-year-old grandson, Eiji, told Kyodo News of the milestone. "I hope she remains healthy and has fun every day as she grows older."
Tanaka is the third "oldest" person in the world to be verified by Guinness. Prior to her, Jeanne Calment of France and Sarah Knauss of the U.S. were confirmed to be record-holding supercentenarians, Fox News noted.
Calment, who died in 1997 at age 122, claimed to have known Vincent van Gogh, describing him as "very ugly," according to The New Yorker.
Knauss died in 1999 at 119. She was older than the Brooklyn Bridge and was born before the dedication of the Statue of Liberty, The Washington Post reported.
Japan has the longest average life expectancy, according to a study. This is primarily due to "remarkably low mortality rates from ischemic heart disease and cancer (particularly breast and prostate)," the published report noted.
"As recently as the 1960s, life expectancy in Japan was the shortest among the G7 countries, owing to relatively high mortality from cerebrovascular disease — particularly intracerebral hemorrhage — and stomach cancer," the study found. "Mortality rates for these diseases subsequently decreased significantly while the already low rates for ischemic heart disease and cancer also decreased, resulting in Japanese life expectancy becoming the longest."
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