Jiroemon Kimura

Jiroemon Kimura (木村 次郎右衛門, Kimura Jirōemon, 19 April 1897 – 12 June 2013) was a Japanese supercentenarian who lived for 116 years and 54 days. He became the oldest verified male in history on 28 December 2012, when he surpassed the age of Christian Mortensen who had died in 1998.[2] Kimura died from natural causes on 12 June 2013, in a hospital in his hometown of Kyōtango, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan. He was the last verified living man born in the 19th century.[3][4][5]

Jiroemon Kimura
木村 次郎右衛門
Jiroemon Kimura (ODN News).png
Kimura on his 115th birthday on 19 April 2012
Miyake Kinjiro (三宅 金治郎)

19 April 1897
Kamiukawa, Japan
Died12 June 2013
(aged 116 years, 54 days)
Kyōtango, Japan
OccupationPostal worker and farmer[1]
Known for
  • Oldest man ever
  • Oldest living man (15 April 2011 - 12 June 2013)
  • Oldest living person (17 December 2012 – 12 June 2013)
Spouse(s)Yae Kimura (1904–1978) (m. ?–1978; her death)
Parent(s)Morizo and Fusa Miyake

Kimura became the oldest living man in Japan upon the death of Tomoji Tanabe on 19 June 2009,[6] the world's oldest living man upon the death of Walter Breuning on 15 April 2011,[a][7][8] the oldest living person in Japan upon the death of Chiyono Hasegawa on 2 December 2011, and the world's oldest living person[9] upon the death of Dina Manfredini on 17 December 2012,[10] until his own death.

Early life and educationEdit

Kimura was born as Kinjiro Miyake (三宅 金治郎, Miyake Kinjirō). According to records, he was born on 19 April 1897,[9] in the fishing village of Kamiukawa, the third of six children born to farmers Morizo and Fusa Miyake.[2] According to Kimura's nephew, Tamotsu Miyake, Kimura was actually born on 19 March 1897, but his birthday was instead recorded as 19 April 1897, by mistake in 1955 when records from neighbouring towns were consolidated and redone.[2] He finished school second in his class at age 14 and commenced working from local post offices around the age of 17. This account of Kimura's birth date has subsequently been challenged by re-validation research; please see the "Age verification" section below for more details about this.

Marriage and careerEdit

In the 1920s, Kimura also worked as a government communications worker in Korea under Japanese rule.[2] Upon returning from Korea, he married his neighbour, Yae Kimura (1904–1978).[2] Since his wife's family lacked a male heir, he changed his name to Jiroemon Kimura, becoming the ninth member of the family to bear that name.[2] He retired in 1962 at the age of 65, having worked in post offices for 45 years.[2] After retiring he turned to farming until the age of 90.[1]

Personal lifeEdit

Four of Kimura's siblings lived past the age of 90, and his youngest brother died at the age of 100.[2] Kimura had 7 children (5 of whom outlived him), 14 grandchildren (13 surviving), 25 great-grandchildren and 15 great-great-grandchildren.[11][12] Kimura was health-conscious and active.[13] He woke up early in the morning and read newspapers with a magnifying glass.[13] Also, he enjoyed talking to guests and followed live parliamentary debates on television. He credited eating small portions of food (hara hachi bun me) as the key to a long and healthy life.[13][14] Kimura resided in Kyōtango, Kyoto Prefecture, with his eldest son's widow, 83, and his grandson's widow, 59.[8]

On his 114th birthday on 19 April 2011, Kimura mentioned his survival of the 7.6 magnitude 1927 Kita Tango earthquake that hit Kyoto and killed over 3,000 people.[15] Just four days before turning 114, upon Americanman Walter Breuning's death, Kimura became the oldest living man in the world as well as the last living man born in the 1800s. Breuning and Kimura were the only two pre-1900 born men who were still living in the 2nd decade of the 21st century (2011–2020).[b]

In October 2012, Kimura was presented with a certificate from Guinness World Records Editor-in-Chief Craig Glenday, relating to Kimura's appearance in the 2013 edition of Guinness World Records book; this was the second year in a row Kimura was recognized as the oldest living man in the world, as he also appeared in the book the year before. During the meeting, Kimura said he spent most of his time in bed.[16]

On his 116th and final birthday, Kimura received many well-wishes, including a video message from Japan's Prime Minister Shinzō Abe.[4] He was hospitalized for pneumonia on 11 May 2013. On 23 May 2013, when 113-year-old James Sisnett of Barbados (born on February 22, 1900) died, Kimura became the last verified living man born in the 19th century.[14] He died of natural causes in the hospital in his hometown of Kyōtango, western Japan, at 2:08 a.m. on 12 June 2013.[12][17] His funeral was held on 14 June 2013.[18] At the time of his death, Kimura was succeeded as the world's oldest living man by Salustiano Sanchez (born on June 8, 1901), who celebrated his 112th birthday just a couple of days earlier.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Breuning died 14 April 2011, 3:30pm MDT. However, in Japan, where Kimura lived, the date was already 15 April 2011 (JST).
  2. ^ Note: The 2nd decade of the 21st century (2011–2020) is not synonymous with the 2010s (2010–2019).


  1. ^ a b "World's oldest man celebrates 114th birthday". The Daily Telegraph. London. April 19, 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Matsuyama, Kanoko (December 27, 2012). "Japanese 115-Year-Old Becomes Oldest Man in History". Bloomberg. Archived from the original on December 28, 2012. Retrieved December 28, 2012.
  3. ^ "World's oldest man ever turns 116 in Kyoto as his health is studied". The Japan Daily Press. April 15, 2013. Archived from the original on June 5, 2013. Retrieved April 19, 2013.
    - "World's oldest person turns 116 in Japan". FRANCE 24 International News. April 19, 2013. Retrieved April 19, 2013.[permanent dead link]
    - "World's oldest person Jiroemon Kimura turns 116 in Japan". The Economic Times. Agence France-Presse. Retrieved April 19, 2013.
  4. ^ a b Zoominuk. "World's oldest man ever turns 116". YouTube.
  5. ^ "From horseless carriages to iPhone5s: The world during 116-year-old Jiroemon Kimura's lifetime". June 9, 2013. Retrieved June 11, 2013.
    - "Jiroemon Kimura, Oldest Man in Recorded History, Dies at 116". June 12, 2013. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  6. ^ "Japan's oldest man says 'thank you very much'". Japan Times. June 22, 2009. Archived from the original on July 26, 2010. Retrieved October 3, 2009.
  7. ^ Volz, Matt (April 14, 2011). "Walter Breuning, World's Oldest Man, Dies In Montana At 114". Huffington Post. Retrieved December 17, 2012.
  8. ^ a b Breaking News Online Team (April 19, 2011). "Jiroemon Kimura becomes World's Oldest Man at 114". Breaking News Online. Archived from the original on October 3, 2011.
  9. ^ a b "Oldest Validated Living Supercentenarians". Gerontology Research Group. Archived from the original on December 1, 2007. Retrieved December 12, 2012.
  10. ^ "115-year-old Iowa Woman Dies, Was World's Oldest Person". KCRG-TV9. December 17, 2012. Archived from the original on November 13, 2014. Retrieved December 17, 2012.
  11. ^ 「はいはい、ありがとう」長寿世界一の木村さんが116回目の誕生日 [World's oldest person, Kimura, celebrates 116th birthday]. MSN Sankei News (in Japanese). Japan: The Sankei Shimbun & Sankei Digital. April 19, 2013. Archived from the original on April 19, 2013. Retrieved April 19, 2013.
  12. ^ a b 長寿世界一 116歳の木村次郎右衛門氏死去 [World's oldest person, Jiroemon Kimura, dies at 116]. Sponichi Annex (in Japanese). Japan: Sports Nippon Newspapers. June 12, 2013. Archived from the original on June 16, 2013. Retrieved February 11, 2016. ... died of old age at a hospital in Kyotango, Kyoto (老衰のため京都府京丹後市の病院で死去した)
  13. ^ a b c Yamaguchi, Mari (September 10, 2009). "Japan's century club swells to more than 40,000". ABC News. Archived from the original on July 26, 2010. Retrieved October 3, 2009.
  14. ^ a b Kemsley, Tamarra (May 28, 2013). "Last Man Alive to Have Been Born in 1800s Celebrates 116th Birthday". Nature World News. Retrieved January 4, 2015.
  15. ^ "Der älteste Mann der Welt". Asienspiegel (in German). April 20, 2011.
  16. ^ "Worlds oldest living man welcomes Guinness World Records editor to his home". Guinness World Records. October 15, 2012.
    - "New record for world's oldest man Jiroemon Kimura". BBC News. October 16, 2012.
  17. ^ Damien Fletcher (June 12, 2013). "World's oldest person and oldest man ever to live Jiroemon Kimura dies aged 116". Daily Mirror. Retrieved January 4, 2014.
  18. ^ いつまでも「輝く宝」で 木村次郎右衛門さん告別式 [Jiroemon Kimura's funeral – a sparkling jewel forever]. Kyoto Shimbun (in Japanese). June 14, 2013. Archived from the original on June 15, 2013. Retrieved October 20, 2013.