Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Japan’s Oldest Person Dies at 113

Tsuneyo Toyonaga, who became the oldest person in Japan last summer, died at the age of 113.

Toyonaga has been living for the last 12 years in a nursing home and had recently been moved over to a nearby hospital after losing her appetite and was unable to eat.

“She was dozing off most of the day recently but when she was awake she used to enjoy singing children’s songs. Once she started singing she wouldn’t stop until we all got tired and had to stop her,” she said.

Toyonaga, who was born on May 21, 1894, was only a year younger than the current Guinness record holder Edna Parker, of Shelbyville, Ind., who is 114 and was born on April 20, 1893.

Japan, who people have the world’s longest average life span, has seen the number of seniors over 100 years old quadruple in the past decade, and is expected to grow past 28,000 people soon. Japanese women live to an average age of 86, while men live to be an average of 79 years old. This is often attributed to lifestyle practices and diet, such as fish, rice, and green tea.

Kaku Yamanaka, born on Dec. 11, 1894, is now Japan’s oldest person. She lives in a nursing home in Aichi, central Japan.


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