Happy 117th Birthday to the World’s Oldest Living Person, Misao Okawa

Mar 4, 2015 at 12:50 pm |

Japan's 114-year-old woman Misao Okawa looks on as she is recognized as the world's oldest woman by the Guinness World Record in Osaka, western Japan on February 27, 2013. The world's oldest man is a 115-year-old Japanese man Jiroemon Kimura, living in Kyoto, near Osaka

Photo credit: JIJI PRESS/AFP/Getty Images

Happy Birthday Misao Okawa! The now 117 year-old woman celebrates another birthday and sets yet another Guinness World Record. She was born on March 5, 1898. More than a century ago she entered this world with a smile on her face and has managed to live such a joyful and adventurous life.

Mrs. Okawa spoke at her birthday event yesterday to mark her latest milestone, claiming “117 years didn’t seem like such a long time.” When she was asked about her best kept secret of her longevity, she joked, “I wonder about that too!”

Her birthday celebrations were televised across Japan. Osaka government official Takehiro Ogura visited Okawa at the Kurenai retirement home where she lives and presented her with a big bouquet to mark the special day. According to the nursing staff, although she has trouble hearing, Okawa is in good health. Tomohito Okada, head of the retirement home, stated:

“She insists that her favourite meal is sushi, particularly mackerel on vinegar-steamed rice, and she has it at least once every month.” She had previously said “the key to a long life is eating sushi and getting at least eight hours sleep a night.”

According to Guinness World Records, “Mrs. Okawa took the title of world’s oldest living person in June 2013 following the death of Jiroemon Kimura – also from Japan – who passed away at the age of 116. The oldest person ever to have lived is also female, Jeanne Calment of France, who lived to 122 years and 164 days.”

Misao Okawa, the world's oldest Japanese woman eats her birthday cake on her 116th birthday celebration at Kurenai Nursing Home on March 5, 2014 in Osaka, Japan. Okawa, born in Tenma, Osaka, on March 5, 1898 to a family of Kimono merchants, married in 1919 and had three children, of which a daughter and a son are still alive, and has four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren

Photo by Buddhika Weerasinghe/Getty Images

Not only does Mrs. Okawa hold a Guinness World Records title for oldest living person, but she also belongs to an elite group – “The Supercentenarians.” There is just one criterion to qualify for membership to this exclusive club and that is being at least 110 years old. She is the leader of the pack and any person who reaches 117 years-old should be proud of their exceptional achievement. She is adored by so many for her sense of humor and remaining so witty and cheerful up to this point in her life. She is surrounded each and every day with love from her three children, 4 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren.

Mrs. Okawa has outlived Japan’s national average by nearly 30 years. The average life span for women in Japan is just under 85.9 years. Her lifespan has continued over a span of three centuries, including 4 Emperors of Japan and 20 US Presidents.


Fun fact: America is the country with the most centenarians in the world.

Check out the Guinness World Records video about “Oldest People Ever” below!

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Misao Okawa has lived through 20 U.S. Presidents! Find out the secret to her longevity here…