She’s more than a century and a decade combined years old. A frail and visibly weak Misao Okawa celebrated her 117th birthday midst family members just a day shy of her actual birthday which is on 5th March.
Born on 5th march 1898, the oldest person alive spoke at her birthday celebration (more a pre-birthday celebration) yesterday and disclosed that 117 years didn’t feel long to her. The old woman resides in a nursing home in Osaka, where doctors and staff were of the view that her condition had somewhat deteriorated in the past couple of months. According to the staff, she had trouble hearing and had ‘slowed down’. However, her family stays rest assured knowing that she eats properly and is in good health.
Misao was born to a Kimono maker (a Kimono being a traditional Japanese robe tied with a sash). She married her husband in 1919 yet the marriage proved to be short as her husband died in 1931. Misao Okawa has two daughters and one son. In total, she has four grandchildren and six great grandchildren.
Here is what was known about Okawa last year when the head of the Krunei retirement home where she lived, remarked about her long age and schedule.
“Mrs Okawa eats three large meals a day and makes sure that she sleeps eight hours a night,” said Tomohito Okada, the head of the Kurenai retirement home where she has lived for the last 18 years. “She insists that her favourite meal is sushi, particularly mackerel on vinegar-steamed rice, and she has it at least once every month,” he said.
Last year, Misao Okawa has disclosed that the happiest moments of her life had been when she had been wedded to her husband and her three offspring were born. The saddest and most painful event of her life was the demise of her husband in 1931. She was officially recognised as the world’s oldest person in 2013 by Guinness World Records. She had succeeded as the world’s oldest person after the death of 116-year-old Japanese man Jiroemen Kimura, who also was a Japanese.
Misao has witnessed both the World Wars, creation of important states such as Pakistan and Israel and has also witnessed the rule of American presidents from Nixon to Obama.