Happy birthday, Kane Tanaka, here's hoping your wish does come true.
Kane Tanaka, the world’s oldest person has celebrated her 119th birthday in Japan. Now, her goal is to live another year and turn 120 years old.
Tanaka, who was born a year before the Russo-Japanese War began, celebrated her milestone birthday in Fukuoka Prefecture on Sunday, according to Japan Times. She was recognized as the oldest person alive in 2019 by The Guinness Book of Records.
News of the supercentenarian's birthday was also shared via a Twitter post by her great-granddaughter, Junko Tanaka adds CNN. "Great achievement. (Kane Tanaka) reached 119 years of age," Junko tweeted, with a photograph of her great-grandmother, whom she saw in December. "I hope you'll continue to live life cheerfully and to the fullest."
Junko also shared a photo on Twitter of two commemorative Coca-Cola bottles with labels personalized with her name and age, that Tanaka was given for her birthday. "Birthday gift 1: Introducing the presents received for Kane's birthday. Really appreciate this gift. Coca-Cola company made a commemorative birthday bottle. It seems (Kane) is still drinking Coca-Cola as usual," Junko captioned the image.
Junko started the Twitter account on behalf of her grandmother to commemorate her life. "I might be biased because I'm related to her but I think it's kind of amazing -- I wanted to share that with the world and for people to feel inspired and to feel her joy," Junko said.
Tanaka, who was born in 1903, got married to a rice shop owner when she was 19. She then worked in the family store until she was 103. In the span of 119 years, Tanaka has witnessed a lot of historical events, including surviving two world wars and the 1918 Spanish flu. Her life has spanned 49 Summer and Winter Olympic Games.
"I don't remember her talking much about the past ... She's very forward-thinking -- she really enjoys living in the present," Tanaka's grandson, Eiji Tanaka, told CNN last year.
Now, Tanaka's family said she keeps her mind and body engaged by doing math, and remaining curious. She also received congratulatory messages from social media users on her birthday.
As for the number of centenarians in Japan, as of September 15, 2021, there is an increase of 6,060 from a year earlier, marking the 51st consecutive year of rising, the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry said, per Japan Times.
Of the 86,510, women accounted for 88.4%, up by 5,475 from a year earlier. Men totaled 10,060, up by 585, the data showed. Also, in July 2021, the ministry said the average life expectancy in Japan, one of the most rapidly graying populations in the world, rose to record highs in 2020 — 87.74 for women and 81.64 for men.
So, it doesn't really come as a surprise that Tanaka is now aiming to turn 120 years old, does it?
Cover Image Source: YouTube | South China Morning Post (World’s oldest living person, Kane Tanaka, celebrates her 117th birthday in Japan)