The World’s Oldest Person Who Turned 116 Reveals Her Secrets to a Long and Happy Life

4 years ago

On March 9, 2019, Guinness World Records officially confirmed Kane Tanaka from Fukuoka, Japan as the oldest person living at her age of 116. Despite her age and health issues, Kane is happy, and she enjoys every single moment of her life. The world got excited to learn what this remarkable woman does to stay active and cheerful at her age.

Here at Bright Side, we’ve learned more about the long life of Kane Tanaka and her personal secrets of longevity.

The long life of the world’s oldest living person

Kane Tanaka was born on January 2, 1903, which was the same year the Wright brothers achieved powered flight. She was the seventh child in her family and had 5 children in her marriage with Hideo Tanaka whom she’d first met on their wedding day. Hideo had a family business which was manufacturing and selling sticky rice, traditional Japanese sweets, and udon noodles.

In 1937, Hideo was called for military service, and Kane got involved in the family business even more, polishing rice and making rice cakes. She also raised their children and looked after Hideo’s mother. Kane’s first son Nobuo was also called for the military in 1943, was held captive, and returned home in 1947 after the Second World War. Kane kept working in the family store until she retired at the age of 63.

Kane Tanaka’s simple but effective longevity tips

So what are Kane Tanaka’s secrets to living a long and happy life? There are quite a few practical tips she revealed during her interviews:

  • Wake up early. Kane is usually awake by 6 a.m. and ready to start her day.
  • Develop your brain. One of the woman’s favorite pastimes is reading and learning math.
  • Stay active and sociable. Kane has become an expert in board games, and she loves playing them with the staff of the rest-home she is now staying in. Her favorite game is Othello.
  • Eat lots of chocolate and drink lots of coffee. That’s just what she does! At the Guinness World Record ceremony, Kane was given a box of chocolates and she started eating them right away. When asked how many of them she was going to eat that day she replied, “100!”

The woman also credits a big family to her happy and long life. But her most important secret is probably to be determined and not to lose hope no matter what. In the interview she gave at 113, she said about her age, “Since I came so far, I have no choice but to try harder. I will do my best!” In 2018 she said that she would love to live to the age of 120.

What do you think of Kane Tanaka’s tips for a long and happy life? Do you know more longevity secrets from people who’ve managed to live a remarkably long life?


Tip about keeping learning is more than precious. This is so important to understand that our brain starts getting old as soon as we stop learning. Maths, languages, tricky riddles, if you learn something daily, your brain will live longer, and as a result, you too.
Great article :)

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