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Qian Zhongming
Qian Zhongming
Qian Zhongming in September 2009, aged 110.
Birth: 5 March 1899
Qujing, Yunnan, Qing dynasty (now China)
Death: 25 May 2010
Ningbo, Zhejiang, China
Age: 111 years, 81 days
Country: ChinaCHN

Qian Zhongming [Chinese: 钱忠明] (5 March 1899 – 25 May 2010), known as Father Zhenyuan [Chinese: 住持贞圆], was a Chinese supercentenarian whose age is currently unvalidated by the Gerontology Research Group (GRG).


Early Life

Qian Zhongming claimed to have been born in Taiping Village, Sanchahe County, Luliang County, Qujing, Yunnan, Qing dynasty (now China) on 5 March 1899 (which is supported by his ID card).

At the age of 8, because of his family's poverty, he became a monk at Dajue Temple [Chinese: 大觉寺], in Luliang County. His master made him studying books, from Three Character Classic and Hundred Family Surnames to the Great Learning.

Zhongming bought more than 20 temples. At some point of his life, he became an abbot at Zonglonghua Temple [Chinese: 宗龙华寺], of which he became the chief.

Later Life

In his centenarian years, Zhongming visited many places in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Myanmar, Singapore, Vietnam, and Malaysia. Because of him growing older, he needed an health certificate to travel, in addition to a pass (for Taiwan, Macao and Hong Kong) or a passport (for Singapore).

In 2009, Zhongming was discovered to be the oldest living person in Kunming, who was previously thought to be 109-year-old Lu Zhenxiu [Chinese: 卢震秀]

At the age of 110, Zhongming was reported to have good eyesight and hearing, and to walk every day in the courtyard (with crutches if he walks a long time outside). He was still able to do calligraphy. Some members of the temple's staff said: "The two long sentences written on the wall were written by the old man himself. But now, his eyes are a bit tired, and the book must be in front of his eyes to read clearly." He has a calm temperament and never enraged.

When asked for the secret of his longevity, Zhongming said: "Be vegetarian. Go to bed early and wake up early to avoid anxiety and agitation." He ate tea and rice every day, and go to bed at 5 p.m. to wake up at 6 a.m. Zhongming also said: I live on the mountain and the air is good. The most important is that you shouldn't anger on recurring situations, don't be anxious and relax when anything happens."

Zhongming's apprentice, Su Pei [Chinese: 素培], said that "Master Zhenyuan has a very regular life (...). The professor is indifferent to celebrity and richness, and his attitude regarding the life was calm and clear." Some days before his death, Zhongming was invited to Zeshan temple [Chinese: 泽山寺], in Cixi City, Ningbo, Zhejiang.

Zhongming died on 25 May 2010 in Cixi City, Ningbo, Zhejiang, China, at the age of 111 years, 81 days. His apprentice said that "his death could be considered as his merit's completion". Zhongming's body was incinered in the temple where he was, and the ashes were taken back to Kunming on 29 May 2010. Then, a ritual began and lasted for seven days, and the ashes were scattered in different temples.

Potential Longevity Records

He was the twelfth-oldest known living person in China at the time of his death (thirteenth if counting Luo Mienan from Bama County).

If validated, Zhongming would have been the third-oldest living man in the world, after Walter Breuning and Jiroemon Kimura.

Zhongming would also have been the only male supercentenarian born in 1899 to have reached age 111, and the last surviving man born in 1899, having survived verified Hilliard Hudson and pending Michael DeSantis.