World's oldest person Misao Okawa dies in Japan

  • Published
This picture taken on 4 March 2015 shows the world's oldest woman Misao Okawa (C) posing for a photo at her nursing home in Osaka, western JapanImage source, AFP
Image caption,
Ms Okawa was born on 5 March 1898 and celebrated her birthday earlier this month

The world's oldest living person, Japan's Misao Okawa, has died from heart failure at the age of 117.

She died in a nursing home in Osaka, the city she was born in on 5 March 1898.

She is survived by three children, four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Ms Okawa was recognised in 2013 as the world's oldest living person, as well as the world's oldest living woman, by Guinness World Records.

While celebrating her birthday earlier this month, Ms Okawa said that 117 years did not seem such a long time.

She also said the key to a long life was getting at least eight hours of sleep a night and eating sushi - her favourite food.

She said she particularly enjoyed mackerel on vinegar-steamed rice.

Her birthday celebration was shown on national television in Japan.

Born to a kimono-maker, Mrs Okawa married her husband Yukio in 1919. They lived in Kobe where he ran a business. When he died in 1931. she moved back to Osaka.

She lived across three centuries, seeing four emperors of Japan, six British monarchs, and 20 US presidents.

Image source, EPA
Image caption,
Ms Okawa celebrated her birthday with nursing home staff and family members

Craig Glenday, the editor-in-chief of Guinness World Records, said previously of Ms Okawa: "Her impressive longevity... is an inspiration and a testament to the Japanese lifestyle."

Ms Okawa's name has since been taken down for the entry for the world's oldest living person on the organisation's site.

It is not yet known who now holds that record, but the site does state that the oldest living man is Sakari Momoi, also of Japan, who turned 112 in February.

The oldest person who has ever lived according to Guinness was Jeanne Calment of France, who lived 122 years and 164 days. She died in August 1997.