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
Sunday, December 21, 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
Fisheries, tourism sectors can help diversify income sources
Ministry, GAC sign agreement to train 37 Omanis
Seeb market has something for every shopper
School photo expo pays tribute to His Majesty
Large shipping vessel docks at Salalah port
Other Top Stories
Kenyatta signs new anti-terror bill into law
Iraqi Kurds, allied forces continue Sinjar offensive
Rebels who tried to flee executed
TTP leader warns of more attacks in Pakistan
Israeli jets strike Gaza targets
India
76pc cast vote in Kashmir despite chilly weather
Shah, Bhagwat pitch for law to ban conversions
Exit polls project BJP victory in Jharkhand, hung assembly in J&K
Jaitley seeks opposition help to enact reforms, revive economy
KPCC chief draws ire over statement on liquor policy
Charger ‘not cellphone part’
BJP tirade against Vadra flayed
LeT receives adequate funds despite sanctions, Delhi tells UN
Court slaps Rs10,000 fine on Gadkari in defamation case
Devyani stripped of duties over statements
Verma sworn in as US ambassador
TN to account for 8pc of cancer cases by 2016
Pakistan
Nawaz talks tough, vows to eliminate threat of militancy
Two militants hanged as 6-year executions moratorium lifted
US grants $1b for defence expenses
Lal Masjid protests heat up, case filed against Aziz
Lakhvi detained again for 30 days
Country wins Cern associate membership
Middle East
Oil crisis tests Iran support for Syria
Fitch raises Egypt credit rating to ‘B’ with ‘stable’ outlook
UN tells Israel to pay Lebanon $856m for oil spill
S. Sudan rebels accused of killing, raping civilians
Asia
N. Korea calls for joint probe with US into Sony hack
Australian mother arrested for murder of eight children
UN, Taliban hold talks to limit civilian casualties
Xi asks HK, Macau to adhere to ‘one China’ principle amid protests
Philippines jail officials in fix over drug lords’ VIP treatment
Kin back plea to expel HIV-positive boy
Business
Sovereign fund sees value of MSM shares attractive
MSM caps losses over rebound in crude oil prices
Private deposits at commercial banks pick up 14% till Oct.
Cyberattack could cost Sony dear
Fitch keeps outlook stable for GCC banks
Flipkart mops up $700m to fund expansion
SpiceJet rescue plan a bold bet on aviation
Ramp up public spending to revive India growth, says Subramanian
Vistara to take off on Jan. 9
ECB sees inflation turning negative over oil price slide
BlackBerry, Boeing team up to make self-destructing phone
EU moves WTO over US subsidies to Boeing
Japan’s Idemitsu looks to take over Showa Shell for $4b
Europe
US imposes curbs on Crimea ahead of Ukraine talks
Court issues arrest warrant for Gulen
Renzi wins confidence vote to pass budget
Financial fraud hits Franciscan Order
Plan to build London Garden Bridge over Thames gets nod
Sports
India doomed by magic Johnson spell
Dhoni blames dressing room unrest on Dhawan
Faris clinches double on debut
West Indies’ frailties exposed by Steyn
Bayern set more records in Germany
Saina, Srikanth sent packing
Spurs handed second triple OT loss in row
Accolades pour in for Bryant
OTA honours elite players, officials of 2014
Ecclestone sued for $423m by German bank
Waqar seeks improvement, Williamson hails feat
Kolkata lift inaugural ISL crown
Messi and Suarez score as Barcelona rout Cordoba
Silva gives strikerless City win over Palace
Morgan replaces Cook as World Cup captain
Americas
US repatriates 4 Gitmo detainees to Afghanistan
US sees limited options to punish N. Korea over Sony cyberattack
Obama vows tough action, seeks global help to check cyberattacks
Cuban House ratifies deal to normalise ties with US
Tsarnaev friend faces gun charge
Obama in ‘I’m-not-done-yet’ attitude as year ends

Sports


International

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