Longevity advice from world’s oldest woman: ‘Eat a good meal and relax’


The world’s oldest woman was celebrating her 116th birthday on Wednesday in a Japanese nursing home with a cake and candles.

Misao Okawa, a descendant of kimono merchants in the city of Osaka, western Japan, received a visit from town mayor Takehiro Ogura earlier this week ahead of her birthday, a nursing home employee said.

Wearing a pink kimono with a red flower in her hair, Okawa was presented with a bouquet by the mayor at the facility near her own home.

Asked for a comment on this year’s birthday, the centenarian said: “It’s quite a long time.”

She will be given a cake with candles decorated with numbers, 116, later Wednesday to celebrate the day with fellow residents and family members, the employee said.

“She is in good shape, and is even still gaining weight,” the employee said.

“She eats sushi, her favourite, and whatever she likes — beef stew, spaghetti, sashimi every day.

“She always says the secret to living a long time is to eat a good meal and relax,” he added.

Okawa last year received a certificate from Guinness World Records confirming her status as the oldest living woman.

She was born on March 5, 1898 and married in 1919, having three children, four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren, local media said.

Japan, known for the longevity of its people, was home to the oldest man ever to have lived — Jiroemon Kimura, who died in June 2013 at the age of 116.

Around a quarter of Japan’s population of 128 million is aged 65 or older.

The figure, already one of the highest proportions in the world, is expected to rise to around 40 percent over coming decades.

  • phu

    Congrats to her! That’s great insight, too, particularly for those of us caught up in today’s fast-paced life. It’s important to take care of your obligations, but one of those obligations is to yourself, and taking the time to enjoy your life and maintain your sanity should be right at the top of the list.

  • Christina Sinkovec

    Happy Birthday, Misao Okawa!!! :) <3

  • Theuns Dirkse Van Schalkwyk

    Congrats of course,

    But to say the oldest man who ever have lived, about Jiroemon Kimura is really ludicrous…we only have a history of keeping such dates for the past few hundred years, and have many documents suggesting longer lifetimes in the past.

    So maybe, you can say the oldest man we know of, but nothing more…