Omantribune
Oman Tribune
Omantribune
Omantribune Search News
Web Oman
    Google Search Button
      Tribune
- Oman
- Soccer World Cup
- Other Top Stories
- Middle East
- Business
- Sports
- India
- Pakistan
- Asia
- Europe
- Americas
- Columnists
- Editorial
- Oman Mirror
- Special Features
- Cinema
- PDF Pages
- Weather
- Travel
- Currency Rate
- Hospitals
- Pharmacies
- Services
- Flight Timings
- Museum Timings
Omantribune Home Omantribune About Us Omantribune Advertising Information Omantribune Archives Omantribune Subscribe-Form Omantribune Jobs Omantribune Contact Us
Wednesday, October 22, 2014  
The man who saw three centuries
115-year-old Jiroemon Kimura of Japan is now the oldest man in recorded history, writes Kanoko Matsuyama

Jiroemon Kimura, a 115-year-old Japanese man born when Queen Victoria still reigned over the British Empire, became the oldest man in recorded history on Friday, according to record keepers.

Kimura, of Kyotango, western Japan, was born on April 19, 1897, in the 30th year of the Meiji era, according to Guinness World Records. That makes him 115 years and 253 days as of Friday, breaking the longevity record for men held by Christian Mortensen of California, who died in 1998 at the age of 115 years and 252 days. The oldest woman in recorded history, Frenchwoman Jeanne Calment, died in 1997 at the age of 122.

“He has an amazingly strong will to live,” Kimura’s nephew Tamotsu Miyake, 80, said in an interview. “He is strongly confident that he lives right and well.”

Kimura is among 22 Japanese people on a list of the world’s 64 oldest people compiled by the Los Angeles-based Gerontology Research Group, highlighting the challenges facing Japan as its population ages. A combination of the world’s highest life expectancy, the world’s second-largest public debt and a below- replacement birthrate is straining the nation’s pension system, prompting the government to curb payouts, raise contributions and delay the age of eligibility.

Japan’s average life expectancy at birth is 83 years, a figure projected to exceed 90 for women by 2050. The number of Japanese centenarians rose 7.6 per cent from a year earlier to 51,376 as of September, and there are 40 centenarians per 100,000 people in the country, which has the world’s highest proportion of elderly, according to Japan’s health ministry.

Kimura became the world’s oldest currently living person on December 17, when 115-year-old Dina Manfredini of Iowa died, according to London-based Guinness and the Gerontology Research Group. Manfredini was born 15 days before Kimura.

Kimura was in a hospital Friday morning, Yasuhiro Kawato, head of the section for elderly welfare at Kyotango’s city hall, said by phone.

“His condition has improved, and we’re not worried, but the doctors said it would be best if he stayed in the hospital into the new year,” Kawato said.

The world’s second-oldest living person, Japanese woman Koto Okubo, turned 115 on December 24.

Kimura lives with his grandson’s widow, Eiko Kimura, in a two-story wooden house he built in the 1960s. Eiko wakes him up every day at 7:30am and takes him by wheelchair to a dining room for breakfast consisting of porridge and miso soup with potatoes and vegetables. He has never suffered from serious diseases, can communicate and spends most of his time in bed, Eiko said.

Kimura, the third of six children, was born as Kinjiro Miyake in Kamiukawa, a fishing and farming village sandwiched between the mountains and the Sea of Japan. His parents, Morizo and Fusa Miyake, were farmers who grew rice and vegetables.

Only two years earlier, Japan’s success in the First Sino-Japanese War had established the nation as the dominant power in East Asia. Less than a year after Kimura was born, the sinking of the US battleship Maine in Havana Harbour would trigger the Spanish-American War.

According to Kimura’s nephew Tamotsu, the 115-year-old’s birthday is actually March 19. Official records say he was born April 19 because an official misprinted the month when records from merging towns were consolidated in 1955, the nephew said.

After finishing school at the age of 14 as the second-best student in his class, Kimura worked at local post offices for 45 years until his retirement in 1962 at the age of 65. He also worked at a government communication unit in Korea in the 1920s, when the peninsula was under Japanese rule, and returned to marry his neighbour Yae Kimura.

As his wife’s family didn’t have a male heir, he changed his name to Jiroemon Kimura, making him the ninth person in the family to bear the name. Since retiring, he has enjoyed reading newspapers and watching sumo wrestling on television. He sometimes helped his son farm until he was about 90 years old, Eiko Kimura said.

Kimura was a disciplined, serious man when he was younger, Miyake said. Even when he drank with his brothers, he would sit straight and keep quiet, Miyake said.

His wife, Yae, died 34 years ago at the age of 74. Four of Kimura’s five siblings lived to be more than 90 years old, and his youngest brother, Tetsuo, died at 100, Miyake said. Kimura’s living descendants include five children, 14 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren and 13 great-great-grandchildren.

The United States has an estimated 80,000 centenarians, or about 25 per 100,000 people, according to researchers at the Okinawa Centenarian Study.

Washington Post-Bloomberg
NEWS UPDATES
Oman
MED2020 conference to discuss advances in medicine, surgery
ISC organises Diwali fair
Visit Richwood Antiques today without appointment
Omani Media Days expo starts in Paris
Researchers to be honoured
Sunaidy checks facilities at Al Madina Logistics
Tanzanian official visits Sohar Estate
Other Top Stories
US may okay more centrifuges in Iran N-talks
Nadella’s pay tops $80m with big stock awards
Syria military response may fuel extremism: UN
Palestine to join world bodies, if UN resoultion fails
French device ‘helps doctors detect Ebola in 15 minutes’
India
Decks cleared for e-auction of coal blocks to firms
Make paid news poll offence, put ceiling on campaign spending: EC
Modi to spend Diwali with flood-hit in Kashmir
Pakistan’s objection derails UN convention on terrorism, says Doval
Kerala seeks legal help in Isro case
Nokia staff want to roll out Amma cell phones
Khattar to take oath as first BJP CM in Haryana
RBI tells banks to partially freeze KYC non-compliant accounts
BJP set to form government in Maharashtra after Diwali
Disclosures on black money ‘will embarrass Congress’
E-companies bring smiles to faces of rail passengers
Agencies keep watch on terror threat: NSA
Pakistan
TTP sacks spokesman for supporting Baghdadi militia
Robbery ‘appals’ Edhi, ex-staffer on suspect list
New airport project in Gwadar gets green signal
Imran vows to end sit-in if Sharif reveals details of assets
Solar radiation measuring station opens in Punjab
Beggars bear brunt of terror crackdown
Middle East
Top cleric’s death leaves gap in Iranian power structure
War-hit Gazans downbeat on promised aid
Sudan ruling party chooses Bashir as poll candidate
Egypt plans cash sops to offset subsidy cut impact
Syrian stones daughter to death in video
Anbar turns militia’s key target
Asia
HK leader offers olive branch to lure protesters
Search resumes for survivors a week after Nepal blizzard
Runaway teen threatens Abbott in terror video
House approves bill granting credit assistance to OFWs
Reforms to be tested as Myanmar poll set for ’15
China to plug ‘gift’ loophole to tackle graft
Business
OOC in talks to buy minority stake in Oxy’s Oman assets
OCCI supports faster economic diversification
Call to focus on EOR, tight gas
India to let private firms in coal mining
Financial Tech to absorb scam-hit NSEL, liabilities
Falling oil lights up India economic outlook
India move to deregulate diesel prices credit positive, says Moody’s
iPhone sales better than expected but iPad volumes slide
China hackers may have attacked iCloud
JLR opens first foreign unit in China
Europe
Moscow, Kiev and EU struggle to end gas price dispute
Total CEO killed in Moscow plane crash
Istanbul varsity a hotbed for rival protests over Baghdadi militia
Turkey boosts hacking probe
‘Abu Hamza aide’ extradited to US is mentally ill
Sports
Mixed feelings over Pistorius sentence
De Villiers leads SA to victory
Blind helps United come off with draw
Rohr resigns as Niger coach after poor show
India’s oldest football club faces cash crunch
End of 2022 is Blatter’s chance to make amends
Scotland scales four shots clear at top
BCCI suspends Windies’ tours
Al Harthy makes Porsche GT3 Cup return
Watson set for summer of cricket after injury layoff
Marsh, O’Keefe to herald new dawn in Aussie cricket
Wozniacki stuns Sharapova in WTA Finals
Americas
US issues tighter rules for Ebola health workers
Canadian who mowed down soldiers has terror links: Police
Californian charged with murder of Saudi student
Rising cyber attacks prompt US to revamp security prosecution team
Court suspends judge over porn scandal
Autistic student bullied at school, on social media

Sports


International

© 2013 Oman Tribune. All rights reserved. Best viewed in 800 X 600 resolution