World’s oldest woman aiming for 120

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Kane Tanaka celebrated her 119th birthday on 2 January (PHOTO: Kyodo/via REUTERS)
Kane Tanaka celebrated her 119th birthday on 2 January (PHOTO: Kyodo/via REUTERS)

At 119 years old, Japan's Kane Tanaka is officially the oldest person in the world.

The supercentenarian has lived through both World War 1 and 2, and seen countless modern inventions, including the car radio, computers and electric cars.

Tanaka, who was born in 1903, celebrated her birthday on 2 January. 

READ MORE | Galloping 105-year-old granny sets 100m sprint world record

While she's no longer able to speak, Tanaka uses gestures to communicate with relatives and staff at the nursing home where she lives in Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan.

She loves chocolate and fizzy drinks, they say. To keep her mind alert, she also likes to solve number puzzles.

Japan, Kane Tanaka, elderly
Kane Tanaka wants to extend her world record by another year and live to 120 years old. (PHOTO: Kyodo/via REUTERS)

Tanaka has spent the past few years in the home. She's outlived her husband, Hideo Tanaka, whom she married at 19.

The couple went on to have five children and eight great-grandchildren, who often visit her.

READ MORE | This 100-year-old woman is officially the oldest female powerlifter in the world

When she celebrated her milestone birthday, Tanaka indicated that she wants to extend her record by another year and live to 120.

Her family believes she can do it.

“I hope she remains healthy and has fun everyday as she grows older,” says her 62-year-old grandson Eiji.


We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Show Comments ()