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Kane Tanaka (田中カ子, Tanaka Kane, born 2 January 1903) is a validated Japanese supercentenarian who, at age 116 years, 290 days, is the world's oldest verified living person following the death of 117-year-old Chiyo Miyako on 22 July 2018.[1]

Kane Tanaka
Native name
Born(1903-01-02)2 January 1903
(age 116 years, 290 days)
Wajiro Village (now Higashi-ku, Fukuoka), Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan
ResidenceHigashi-ku, Fukuoka, Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan
Known forOldest living person
(22 July 2018 – present)
Hideo Tanaka (m. 1922)
Children5 (4 biological, 1 adopted)
Parent(s)Kumakichi and Kuma Ota


Tanaka was born on 2 January 1903, the seventh child to Kumakichi and Kuma Ota in the village of Kazuki (now part of Fukuoka), Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan, on the southern island of Kyushu.[2] Born in the waning years of the Meiji era, Tanaka was premature and raised on breast milk from nurses.[3] During World War II, she worked in a store selling Shiruko and udon noodles with her husband Hideo. After Hideo and her son died during the war, she continued working in the store before retiring at age 63.[2] In the 1970s, she visited the United States, where she has several nieces and nephews.[4]

At age 103, Tanaka was diagnosed with colon cancer and survived.[2] When she was 107, her son wrote a book about her, which discusses her life and longevity and is titled In Good and Bad Times, 107 Years Old. She was interviewed by KBC in September 2017 when she was 114.[5]

At the time of Chiyo Miyako’s death, Tanaka lived in a nursing home in the Higashi-ku ward of Fukuoka, Fukuoka Prefecture. She was still in good health and occupied her time by playing the board game Othello and taking short walks in the facility's hallways.[6] Her hobbies include calligraphy and calculations.[7] She credits family, sleep and hope as her secrets for longevity.[8] In July 2018, she said she would like to live another five years to the age of 120.[2]

Tanaka has a strong appetite and likes sweets; she drinks three cans a day of canned coffee, sodas, and various nutritional drinks.[2][7] Her great-nephew, Gary Funakoshi, told the San Diego Union-Tribune that Tanaka attributes her longevity to her faith in God.[4]

On March 9, 2019, Tanaka was recognized as the World's Oldest Living Person by Guinness World Records.[9]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Validated Living Supercentenarians". Gerontology Research Group. 19 October 2017. Retrieved 20 October 2017. The Gerontology Research Group (GRG) lists people as living whose age has been validated and confirmed to be alive within the past year.
  2. ^ a b c d e Kashiwagi, Toshihiro (27 July 2018). 国内最高齢115歳、入所者励ます「頑張りんしゃい」 [At 115, the oldest man in Japan advises citizens to "try hard"]. Asahi Shimbun (in Japanese). Retrieved 10 November 2018.
  3. ^ Hoda, Masashi (27 July 2018). 田中カ子さん115歳「-死ぬ気全然せんです」 [Japan's oldest woman, Kanako Tanaka, at 115: "I do not feel like dying at all"]. Mainichi Shimbun (in Japanese). Retrieved 10 November 2018.
  4. ^ a b McIntosh, Linda (6 June 2016). "San Marcos couple celebrate aunt's 113th year". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  5. ^ "元気に長生きする秘けつ" [The secret to a healthy long life] (in Japanese). KBC. 19 September 2017. Retrieved 10 August 2018.
  6. ^ "Japan's oldest person Chiyo Miyako dies at 117". The Japan Times. Kyodo. 27 July 2018. Retrieved 26 July 2018.
  7. ^ a b 115歳国内最高齢の田中カ子さん「みんなのおかげ」と感謝 カフェオレ毎日3、4本 [Oldest person in the country, Kane Tanaka, 115, says "thanks to everyone" and enjoys 3 or 4 café au lait every day]. Sankei Shimbun (in Japanese). 27 July 2018. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
  8. ^ Brennan, David (27 July 2018). "Who is the World's oldest Person? Chiyo Miyako Dies At 117, Passing Title To Kane Tanaka". Newsweek. Retrieved 27 July 2018.
  9. ^ Senda, Masakazu (9 March 2019). "World's oldest person confirmed as 116-year-old Kane Tanaka from Japan". Guinness World Records. Retrieved 11 March 2019.

External linksEdit