World’s oldest woman turns 117 in Japan

The world’s oldest person Misao Okawa, a mother of three, grandmother of four and great-grandmother of six, turned 117 on Thursday in western Japan.

She was born on March 5 1898 and got married at the age of 21. She has outlived her husband by 84 years after he died in 1931. 

Okawa, one of only a handful of people born in the 19th century and still alive “is looking in good shape,” an official at her Osaka nursing home told AFP.

She celebrated her birthday a day early, surrounded by family. Guests included her oldest son Hiroshi, 92, and a two-year-old great-grandchild.

Madam Okawa said that the past 117 years have been very short

Japan, known for the longevity of its people, is also home to the world’s oldest man – 112-year-old Sakari Momoi.

According to World Health Organisation statistics for 2014, Japanese women were ranked the highest for life expectancies, averaging at 87 years, whereas men from Iceland had the longest life expectancies, averaging at 81 years. 

Singapore was ranked fifth for men, with an average age of 80, and fourth for women, with an average age of 85. 

Currently, the five oldest people in the world are Madam Okawa, followed by Ms Gertrude Weaver, 117, Ms Jeralean Talley, 116, Ms Susannah Mushatt Jones, 116, all from the United States and Ms Emma Morano, 116 from Italy. 

Some of their tips on living a long life is regular sleep, exercise like squats or mowing their lawn (even after they turned 100), eating healthy AND unhealthy food like sushi, raw eggs, oats and barbecue chicken, and being kind and happy to everyone. 

Ms Morano even admitted that being single helped!

So if you're planning to outlive everybody in your life, listen to these wise women, start doing you squats and gulp down those raw eggs!

Sources: AFP, Mashable, USA Today, World Health Organisation

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