Motome Hirata
Motome Hirata
Birth: 12 August 1906
Ueda, Nagano, Japan
Death: 6 December 2019
Matsudo, Chiba, Japan
Age: 113 years, 116 days
Country: JapanJPN

Motome Hirata [Japanese: 平田もとめ] (12 August 1906 – 6 December 2019) was a validated Japanese supercentenarian.


Motome Hirata was born on 12 August 1906 on a farm in Ueda, in central Japan's Nagano Prefecture, Japan. At some point of her life, she started drawing and writing haiku. She was involved in agriculture since the age of 11. After graduation, she started working in the fields, selling silk, raw silk and started doing both weaverding and sewing. She got married at the age of 25 and raised six children. She married into a family of silkworm breeders right when raw silk prices collapsed in the aftermath of the Great Depression. Struggling to make ends meet while raising four boys and two girls, she regularly worked from dawn to dusk. She would find respite from work by reading a form of Japanese classical poetry known as tanka, During WWII a local women's association to which Hirata belonged prepared paper lanterns for use in morale-boosting parades. But the bad times outweighed the good as she also witnessed unbearable sorrow such as when a neighboring soldier's entire family committed suicide after the war concluded in 1945. "It was particularly sad because there was a baby (in the family)," said Hirata. Although Showa was a period of intense work, Hirata said her life changed for the better during the Heisei years, starting in 1989. She started participating in tanka poetry club readings and developed a passion for drawing, among other hobbies. She moved from Nagano to Chiba, where she currently lives in an apartment with her daughter who is 74. Asked about Reiwa, which is the first of Japan's imperial eras to be chosen from a traditional work of Japanese poetry, Hirata said, "It's wonderful," adding that given her background in poetry she was aware it was derived from the "Manyoshu." Expressing hope for the new generation and the new era beginning on May 1 with the ascension to the throne of Emperor Akihito's son Naruhito, Hirata said, "I want the world to become a better place.

On her 103rd birthday, Hirata was asked for her secret of longevity, to which she responded: "Eating is also important, but moving of the body always leads to health." In September 2018, she was reported as the oldest living person in Chiba Prefecture. She was validated by the Gerontology Research Group on 22 October 2018.

Motome Hirata passed away in Matsudo, Chiba Prefecture, Japan on 6 December 2019 at the age of 113 years, 116 days.


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