Kane Tanaka Biography

(World's Oldest Living Person)

Birthday: January 2, 1903 (Capricorn)

Born In: Higashi Ward, Fukuoka, Japan

Kane Tanaka is a Japanese woman who has been recognised by the Guinness World Records as the World's Oldest Living Person. She is also the oldest verified Japanese person ever and the third-oldest verified person ever in the world. She credits her long life to her faith in God, family, eating and sleeping well and solving mathematical problems. She wants to stay healthy and reach the age of 120.

Quick Facts

Also Known As: Kane Ota


Spouse/Ex-: Hideo Tanaka (m. 1922)

father: kumakichi

mother: Kuma Ota

children: Nobuo

Born Country: Japan

Japanese Female Capricorn Female

World’s Oldest Living Person

On 9th March 2019, the 116 years 66 days old Kane Tanaka was officially recognised by the Guinness World Records as the World's Oldest Living Person and World's Oldest Living Woman. She was given her certificate, together with flowers and a box of chocolates in a ceremony at her nursing home in Fukuoka. She became the oldest living person in the world after the death of Chiyo Miyako in July 2018.

She is also the third-oldest verified person ever behind the French supercentenarian Jeanne Louise Calment (1875-1997) and the American supercentenarian Sarah DeRemer Knauss (1880–1999). Additionally, in September 2020, she was also recognised as the longest-lived Japanese person ever.

She was expected to hold the Olympic torch during the 2020 Summer Olympics held in July-August 2021 in Tokyo. However, owing to health risk posed by coronavirus, she had to withdraw.

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Her Life

Kane Tanaka was born on 2nd January 1903 in the Wajiro village of Kyushu Island, Japan. She was the third daughter and seventh (of eight children) child of her parents – Kumakichi and Kuma Ota. The year she was born was the same year when Marie Curie won the Nobel prize in Physics and became the first woman ever to win a Nobel prize. It was also the year when The Wright brothers conducted their first successful flight.

In the year 1922, just days after she turned nineteen, she married her cousin Hideo Tanaka whose family owned and operated a business by the name of Tanaka Mochiya. It was into making and selling sticky rice, Udon noodles as well as a type of Japanese sweets called Zenzai. The couple went on to have four children – two daughters and two sons – and also adopted a fifth child, the daughter of Hideo's sister.

After marriage Kane began working at the store and took on a more prominent role in it after Hideo was drafted into military service during the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1937. He continued serving in the military till 1939.

Her elder son Nobuo, too, joined the military in 1943. As the second world war was nearing its end, he was captured by the Soviet Union and imprisoned in Siberia. He was later released and finally made it back to his home in 1947.

She continued to work in the store till the time she turned 63. Hideo Tanaka passed away at the age of 90 in the year 1993. Kane Tanaka, has herself, faced severe health issues and underwent treatment for them at different stages of her life. She has been treated for paratyphoid fever (at the age of 35) and also had pancreatic cancer surgery (at the age of 45) as well as colorectal cancer surgery (at the age of 103).

A book titled In Good and Bad Times, 107 Years Old was authored by her second son and his wife, on her life and longevity.

Since September 2018, Kane Tanaka has been residing in a nursing home in Higashi-ku, Fukuoka where her routine includes waking up at 6 in the morning and studying subjects like mathematics. She is also fond of calligraphy and playing the board game, Othello.

Her family includes her five grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

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Article Title
- Kane Tanaka Biography
- Editors, TheFamousPeople.com
- TheFamousPeople.com

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