Matsu Kayo
Birth: 9 January 1886
Wakugawa, Nakijin, Okinawa, Japan
Death: 13 December 1998
Wakugawa, Nakijin, Okinawa, Japan
Age: 112 years, 338 days
Country: JapanJPN

Matsu Kayo (9 January 1886 - 13 December 1998) was the second-oldest living person in Japan and the eighth-oldest living person in the world at the time of her death, aged 112 years, 338 days.


Kayo was born in Wakugawa, Nakijin, Okinawa. She was the second of four children. Longevity ran in her family: her parents died in their 70s, her older sister died at the age of 60, and her younger brother and sister both lived well into their 80s. Kayo was never schooled. At the age of 23, she married, and would later give birth to seven children, the first three of whom died young and the remaining four of whom were still alive at the time of her death.

Kayo worked in the fields until the age of 70, had cataract surgery at the age of 80, was widowed at the age of 84, travelled to Kume at the age of 90, and worked in the house until the age of 93. She ate anything except dairy products, and favoured pork, as it was an Okinawan delicacy.

In her later years, Kayo lived with the family of one of her grandchildren, as well as her daughter-in-law (her main caregiver), who she once quarreled with due to stubbornness. Kayo did her own laundry, ate full meals, and bathed every other day. She enjoyed drinking tea with her neighbour and dancing the traditional Okinawan dance kachashi. She was accepted into an elderly care facility at the age of 108; by then, her caregiver had also become old.

When asked about the secret of her longevity, her only response was "I don't know."


  • Aging and Age-related Diseases: The Basics, by Michał Karasek
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