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World’s Oldest Person Passes Away At 119, She Enjoyed Studying Math & Playing Board Games

World’s Oldest Person Kane Tanaka Passes Away At 119

For most of us, ageing may bring to mind fear of loneliness, social isolation, or even depression. But for the world’s oldest person, she made sure to spend her golden years leading a colourful life.

Born on 2 Jan 1903, Madam Kane Tanaka was the oldest living person in the world before passing away on 19 Apr, aged 119.

She is dearly remembered as someone who enjoyed spending time on her favourite hobbies, including playing board games and studying mathematics.

World’s oldest person Kane Tanaka passes away on 19 Apr

According to Channel NewsAsia (CNA), Japanese officials announced the sad news on Monday (25 Apr).

Kane Tanaka, who was certified the world’s oldest person, had passed away on 19 Apr at the age of 119.

On the day of the announcement, Guinness World Records also tweeted about Madam Tanaka’s demise.

Source: Guinness World Records on Twitter

They added that Madam Tanaka became the oldest living person in Jan 2019 at the age of 116 years and 28 days.

Source: Guinness World Records on Twitter

She is also the second oldest person ever recorded.

She still had an appetite despite being in hospital

On 13 Apr, a few days before her passing, Madam Tanaka’s family posted on Twitter that she had recently been “hospitalised and discharged repeatedly”.

Source: @tanakakane0102 on Twitter

Despite all that, the family lightheartedly added that Madam Tanaka had a healthy appetite for “cola, Oronamin C, and chocolate”.


Her family also told Guinness World Records that even in Madam Tanaka’s final days, she still craved sweet treats like chocolate.

This may come as no surprise as she was known to have a sweet tooth. Back in 2019, when she received her official Guinness World Records certificate and a box of chocolates, she immediately opened the box and started eating them.

She enjoyed playing board games & studying math

Living at a nursing home in Fukuoka, the Japanese woman apparently enjoyed playing board games as well.

She even became an expert at the classic board game of Othello, often beating the nursing home staff, reports The Straits Times.

Madam Tanaka would also wake up at 6am daily and spend her afternoons practising calligraphy and studying mathematics. This allowed her to keep her mind and body active.

She was even selected as one of the torchbearers for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and had wanted to take part in her wheelchair. Unfortunately, she had to cancel her participation due to the pandemic.

Led a fulfilling life at the age of 119

Madam Tanaka has definitely inspired us to stay positive and keep our minds and bodies engaged, whether we’re young or old.

As our nation also has an ageing population, we hope that she can be a role model for everyone to stay mentally and physically active. That way, we can lead a fulfilling life just like Madam Takana’s.

MS News sends our deepest condolences to Madam Tanaka’s family. May she rest in peace.

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Featured image adapted from Guinness World Records and @tanakakane0102 on Twitter.

Sze Yun Chu

Sze Yun egg-spires to be a living Gudetama who sees the gude (good) in all things. Oftentimes, you can see her jumpin' & poppin' to NCT’s music.

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