Tanaka celebrating her 117th birthday in January 2020
|Birth:||2 January 1903|
Fukuoka, Fukuoka Pref., Japan
|Age:||117 years, 295 days|
Kane Tanaka [Japanese: 田中カ子] (née Ota; born 2 January 1903) is a Japanese supercentenarian who, at the age of 117 years, 295 days, is recognised by Guinness World Records as the oldest living person in the world. Her age is also validated by Gerontology Research Group (GRG).
Since surpassing the age of Nabi Tajima in September 2020, Tanaka has held the record as the longest-lived Japanese person of all-time whose age has been validated by the GRG. Furthermore, she also became the third-oldest validated person in world history, after Jeanne Calment and Sarah Knauss.
Kane Tanaka was born in Kazuki Village (now Fukuoka), Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan, on 2 January 1903. She was the seventh of eight children born to Kumakichi and Kuma Ota, and was also born prematurely. She married Hideo Tanaka on 6 January 1922, although they didn't meet before the wedding. They had four children and adopted a fifth.
During World War II, Tanaka worked in her family's store (Tanaka Mochiya) selling rice cakes and noodles. Her son Nobuo was captured by the Soviets, but was released in 1947. She continued to work in the store before retiring at the age of 63. In the 1970s, she visited the United States, where she has several nieces and nephews.
At the age of 103, Tanaka was diagnosed with colon cancer but survived a five-hour-long surgery. When she was 107, her son wrote a book about her, which discusses her life and longevity.
Tanaka currently resides in Fukuoka prefecture, and has lived in a nursing home since 2005. At the age of 116, she can get around with the help of a walker, play Othello, and do math problems and calligraphy. Her favorite foods include chocolate, and pop beverages. She loves to write poetry and she can still remember her trips to the United States. She attributes her longevity to her faith in God.
Tanaka became the world's oldest validated living person upon the death of Chiyo Miyako on 22 July 2018. Tanaka became the last surviving Japanese person born in 1903 following the death of Shimoe Akiyama on 29 January 2019, and the last person in the world born in 1903 following the death of Italian Maria Giuseppa Robucci on 18 June 2019.
On 9 March 2019, Tanaka was officially presented with the "World's Oldest Living Person" and "World's Oldest Living Woman" titles by Guinness World Records. On 15 December 2019, she became one of the ten oldest validated people ever recorded after surpassing Maria Capovilla's final age of 116 years, 347 days.
On 2 January 2020, Tanaka celebrated her 117th birthday, making her the fourth Japanese person to do so. Upon reaching the age of 117 years, 261 days on 19 September 2020, Tanaka broke Nabi Tajima's record to become the longest-lived validated Japanese person ever recorded. She also became the third-oldest human being of all-time, after Jeanne Calment and Sarah Knauss.
- World Supercentenarian Rankings List Gerontology Research Group
- Kane Tanaka, 116 Photo Gallery, GRG
- San Marcos couple celebrate aunt’s 113th year The San Diego Union-Tribune, 6 May 2016
- 国内最高齢１１５歳、入所者励ます 「頑張りんしゃい」 Yahoo Japan, 27 July 2018 (via the Wayback Machine)
- World’s oldest person confirmed as 116-year-old Kane Tanaka from Japan Guinness World Records, 9 March 2019
- 現在、地球上で最高齢の田中カ子さんにお会いしてきました！ Blog post, 12 August 2019
- 世界最高齢となった田中カ子さま（グッドタイムホーム１・海の中道にお住まい）にお話を伺いました Good Time Home, November 2019
- Kane Tanaka: World's oldest woman celebrates her 117th birthday Sky News, 6 January 2020
- 117歳の田中さんに特製チョコ 世界最高齢「老人の日」でお祝い Yahoo Japan, 14 September 2020
- Tanaka sets new Japan age record at 117 years, 261 days Kyodo News, 19 September 2020