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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

World's Oldest Person Okawa Misao Dies At 117

The good news, is that Okawa Misao (surname first) died of old age yesterday at the incredible age of 117 and not from doing some ridiculous Japanese stunt such as trying to eat sticky mochi dough balls.

大川 ミサヲ was born on March 5, 1898 in Tenma, Osaka-ken, Japan.

After Kimura Jiromon (surname first) (male) had  passed away on June 12, 2013, Okawa was known as the world's oldest living person. She previously usurped the title of world;'s oldest woman when Okubo Koto passed away earlier that year on January 12, 2013. 

Despite her passing Okawa is recognized as being:
  • the oldest-lived Japanese person ever;
  • oldest person ever born in Asia;
  • 5th oldest (verified - sorry Methusalah) person ever;
  • the 30th person (verified) to have reached the age of 115;
  • 19th person (verified) to reach the age of 116;
  • 5th person (verified) to reach the age of 117;
  • the last living Japanese person born in the 1800s (19th century).
End of an era, indeed.

She was the fourth daughter of a 'draper', born in Tenma district, which is known nowadays as Kita-ku.

She married a young man named Okawa Yukio in 1919, had three kids (one son and two daughters).

Talk about good genes, one of the daughters, Shizuyo, and her son Hiroshi, continue to survive her.

Hubby Yukio passed away back on June 20, 1931.

Okawa had four grandkids and six great grand-children.

Although she moved in to a residential care facility in Higashisumiyoshi-ku in Osaka in 1997, Okawa was walking on her own power until she was 110, at which point she began using a wheelchair only as a preventative against falls.

I'm sure everyone wants to know the secret of her longevity… so here it is: sushi, noodles, and sleep.

That's it? What type of sushi!!!!!???? What type of bloody noodles??!! Why didn't someone ask her for more details? Surely there was enough time to ask these questions??!!

After turning 117, Okawa's health began to decline, though she wisely lamented at that time that her life seemed short.

While I am sure plenty of Japanese people enjoy eating sushi, noodles and sleeping, someone did probe Okawa for the secret of her long life.

She honestly replied, "I wonder about that, too."

My only beef with this news, is that most media couldn't come up with a better photograph of the tough old bird, preferring to only show the image at the very top.

Here's a better one, that humanizes her:

Did she only have the one kimono? Apparently she had two flowers.

Kanpai, Okawa-san. The sun has finally set.
Andrew Joseph

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