Kane Tanaka: ‘The World’s Oldest Person’ Dies at the Age of 119 in Japan

Kane Tanaka

Kane Tanaka was born in 1903 and is the second oldest verified person to ever live (Photo: Reuters)

A woman believed to be the oldest in the world has died at the age of 119.

Kana Tanaka of Japan died at the hospital last week, according to the country’s public television.

She was confirmed by Guinness World Records as the oldest living person on the planet in 2019.

Ms. Tanaka achieved the incredible status when another Japanese woman, Chiyo Miyako, died in 2018.

She was the second oldest verified person to ever live, after only the French woman Jeanne Celment, who died at the age of 122 in 1997.

Born on January 2, 1903, her life has stretched over almost the entire 20th century and on into the next.

Over the course of 119 years and 107 days, she saw her country completely transformed.

Kane Tanaka

She died at the hospital at the age of 119 (Image: Fukuoka Prefectural Government)

Born in the Japanese Empire, she lived through wars against Russia and China before the collapse of the ruling class at the end of World War II.

Tanaka was already in its forties when the United States dropped two atomic bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

She witnessed the country’s transformation from war-torn global exclusion to a major economic power and leader on the world stage.

Ms Tanaka was born in what is now Fukuoka, the year the Wright brothers’ first motorized aircraft was tested.

She had five children and lived a long time longer than her husband, who died at the age of 90 in 1993 after 71 years of marriage.

Kane Tanaka

She was delighted to be confirmed as the world’s oldest person at a ceremony in 2019 (Photo: Reuters)

Despite her progressive years, she maintained full independence until 2018, when she moved into a retirement home.

Tanaka died of old age at a hospital in Fukuoka City, western Japan, on April 19.

Japan has an aging population and a high percentage of the world’s centenarians.

By September last year, the country had 86,510 100-year-olds, and nine out of 10 were women.

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