World's oldest man dies at 113

MIYAZAKI —

Tomoji Tanabe, the world’s oldest man, died in his sleep at his home in in Miyakonojo, Miyazaki Prefecture, on Friday, a city official said. He was 113.
 
“He died peacefully. His family members were with him,” said Junko Nakao, a city official said. Tanabe died of heart failure, she said.
 
Tanabe, who was born Sept 18, 1895, had eight children—five sons and three daughters. The former city land surveyor also had 25 grandchildren, 53 great-grandchildren, and six great-great-grandchildren, according to a statement from the Miyakonojo city council. He was certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s oldest man when he was 111 years old.
 
Tanabe lived with his fifth son and daughter-in-law.
 
His favorite meals were fried shrimp and Japanese miso soup with clams, the statement said. Tanabe drank milk every morning and read the newspaper. He also avoided alcohol and did not smoke, the statement said.

Tanabe was designated the world’s oldest man in June 2007 after a Puerto Rican man died at the age of 115.
   
He had been mostly bed-ridden since early May and could not eat. He died in his sleep at daybreak Friday, according to a prefectural official.
 
The city’s mayor, Makoto Nagamine, said Tanabe was “the symbol of the Miyakonojo known as a city of long life.”
 
“I feel very saddened by his death,” Nagamine said in a statement. “He cheered many citizens.”
 
Japanese people have among the world’s longest life expectancies—nearly 86 years for women and 79 years for men—which is often attributed to the country’s healthy diet rich in fish and rice.
 
The number of Japanese living past 100 has more than doubled in the last six years, reaching a record high of 36,000 people in 2008. The country’s centenarian ranks are dominated by women, who make up 86 percent of the total.
 
Japan’s centenarian population is expected to reach nearly 1 million—the world’s largest—by 2050, according to U.N. projections.

Wire reports

  • 0

    smartacus

    He certainly witnessed a lot of history.

  • 0

    helloklitty

    according to a statement from the Miyakonojo city.

    delete "the"

  • 0

    Monoflow

    When I see today's world, i'll never become 113... Miyazaki Prefecture is the place to be, to become an oldie...

  • 0

    spudman

    the Miyakonojo city council.

    it's fine.

  • 0

    franz75

    "healthy diet rich in fish and rice" something wrong here...

  • 0

    jonnyboy

    He also avoided alcohol and did not smoke

    whilst japan can boast a lot of centenarians, and likes to boast about the healthiness of its cuisine, the vast majority of the population would be wise to take note of tanabe and reduce their alcohol and tobacco intake, which is some of the highest in the world

  • 0

    Ah_so

    the vast majority of the population would be wise to take note of tanabe and reduce their alcohol and tobacco intake, which is some of the highest in the world

    No - that is just one example, which can only have annecdotal value. Japan, despite its high rates of smoking and heavy drinking, still has the highest life expectancy in the world. Smoking is damaging to health, clearly a factor, but perhaps not as significant as diet in life expectancy.

  • 0

    Ramzel

    had eight children—five sons and three daughters. The former city land surveyor also had 25 grandchildren, 53 great-grandchildren, and six great-great-grandchildren

    This story also tells a tale of population decline: 8 kids -> 3 kids -> 2 kids -> .11 kids

    Granted, some of his great-grand children could be too young to have kids, but it is doubtful.

  • 0

    OneForAll

    Still not a very long time. "If you make it to 150 you will never die," said my Dad. "You never hear of someone dying at 150."

  • 0

    Sarge

    "His favorite meals were fried shrimp and miso soup with clams... drank milk every morning and read the newspaper"

    I love fried shrimp and New England clam chowder, and I drink coffee with milk and sugar every morning and read the newspaper. I guess I'm going to live nearly as long!

  • 0

    kirakira25

    I agree that a diet of fish and rice is very healthy, but I have never seen Japanese subsist on a diet of fish and rice the whole time I have been here - lots of fatty meat, fried food, pickles, very few veggies and fruit and lots of alcohol and tobacco.

    I agree the traditional countryside diet is healthy - but I don't see anyone eating like that anymore, at least not in the Tokyo area.

  • 0

    taiko666

    Japan is certainly still ahead in the longevity stakes. Bear in mind that Mr Tanabe's diet when he was young was vastly different to that of 'modern' Japanese. MacD's, KFC et al are busy levelling the playing field.

  • 0

    Ramzel

    Japan is certainly still ahead in the longevity stakes. Bear in mind that Mr Tanabe's diet when he was young was vastly different to that of 'modern' Japanese. MacD's, KFC et al are busy levelling the playing field.

    He also lived through 2 world wars, during which he was probably malnourished.

  • 0

    Zerian

    "world's oldest". Incorrect.

    In Northern Iraq(Kurdistan) there is a woman that is 132 years old and still alive. In Northern Iraq there are more people above 120 years old so i don't understand why they say "world's oldest" when he was only 113.

    So unfair.

  • 0

    888naff

    In another JT article about fashion someone was going on about how Japan hasnt moved on, got over from "the war", so hence the cute ambassadors fashion was not somehow correct.

    mmm whats the headline else where on the globe

    "War Veteran 'Is World's Oldest Man At 113'" skynews uk.

    mmm so who cant stop going on about a bit of military action then, even in a matter like this.

  • 0

    Netgaijin

    "world's oldest". Incorrect.

    In Northern Iraq(Kurdistan) there is a woman that is 132 years old and still alive. In Northern Iraq there are more people above 120 years old so i don't understand why they say "world's oldest" when he was only 113.

    So unfair.

    Zerian, what's the source of your news?

  • 0

    Ramzel

    "world's oldest". Incorrect.

    In Northern Iraq(Kurdistan) there is a woman that is 132 years old and still alive. In Northern Iraq there are more people above 120 years old so i don't understand why they say "world's oldest" when he was only 113.

    So unfair.

    World's oldest man... you said the 132 year old is a woman...

  • 0

    blvtzpk

    Now I'm in with chaaaa......

  • 0

    neverknow2

    Japanese people have among the world’s longest life expectancies—nearly 86 years for women and 79 years for men—which is often attributed to the country’s healthy diet rich in fish and rice.

    I disagree. The people of Okinawa has the world's longest life expectancy. Without Okinawa, Japan slips down very unfavourably in the list. Japan only 'joined' then around 1879.

  • 0

    bobobolinski

    "War Veteran 'Is World's Oldest Man At 113'" skynews uk. mmm so who cant stop going on about a bit of military action then, even in a matter like this.

    I think the point about Henry Allingham, now officially the world's oldest man, is that he is one of only two surviving British WWI veterans. Not militarism, so much as a tenuous living link with history.

  • 0

    jonnyboy

    he was probably malnourished

    the human body is designed for a bare, subsistence diet. most people in the developed world are dying of over-nutrition

  • 0

    sharky1

    113 years old!!! That's about 30 years further down the road than I think I want to go.

  • 0

    Ah_so

    In Northern Iraq(Kurdistan) there is a woman that is 132 years old and still alive. In Northern Iraq there are more people above 120 years old so i don't understand why they say "world's oldest" when he was only 113.

    If there were any evidence for this, it would be accepted as fact. Unfortunately there is not, and the above claims are almost certainly false.

  • 0

    DentShop

    >

    "world's oldest". Incorrect.

    In Northern Iraq(Kurdistan) there is a woman that is 132 years old and still alive. In Northern Iraq there are more people above 120 years old so i don't understand why they say "world's oldest" when he was only 113.

    So unfair.

    Pfffftttt

  • 0

    Betting

    I certainly hope I make it to at least 113. Just imagine all the world events this guy experienced during his life.

  • 0

    knews

    I have a theory about the longevity of Japanese people. I've always wondered why it is one of the longest in the world when there are so many smokers and drinkers here. So I think it must be a combination of eating a lot of fish and rice (which many still do although I agree that fast food is putting up a good fight) as well as taking a bath every night. There is something about a Japanese-style bath (i.e. just sitting in the water after having soaped up elsewhere) that seems to cleanse deeply. The sweat you sweat is a good kind of sweat. Hard to get used to but once you do, you never go back. I am starting to understand why Japanese people always say that the main thing they miss about Japan is taking a bath (and eating nice sushi) when they travel abroad. Finally, the four distinct seasons in Japan also toughen the body up, I reckon... A cold winter and a hot, sticky summer mixed in with a rainy season. All the ingredients of a long life.

  • 0

    bobobolinski

    Never really thought much about this subject before, but looked around and found a couple of interesting facts. The oldest person (officially) was a Frenchwoman, Jeanne Calment, who died in 1997 at the age of 122. She attributed her longevity to garlic, cigarettes, red wine and chocolate, and finally gave up smoking at the age of 119. Henry Allingham believes he has lived so long because of whisky and wild women. And the majority of really long-lived persons, including Gertrude Baines (115) the current oldest person in the world, have been American.

  • 0

    usaexpat

    That's a long run and it sounds like he had all his faculties and was in relatively good health until early may. The mind just boggles at the changes in the world this man saw in his life. Keep in mind also that his 5th son with whom he lived must be 80 years old or pretty close.

  • 0

    Asara

    The weird thing is almost any country that has population more than 10 million very likely find and prove that they got worlds oldest man/woman usually older than 110.

  • 0

    Badge213

    These "titles" of "worlds oldest this or that" are given to people who's birth can be verified though documents and such. People claiming to be older but have no documents to back it up with can't be certified.

  • 0

    alphawolf

    Ramzo; yes there are many that "claim" a certain old age, but they cannot prove it through birth records, so fortunately, the book of world records won't recongnize them otherwise anyone could claim any age.

    aw

  • 0

    inkjet

    the human body is designed for a bare, subsistence diet. most people in the developed world are dying of over-nutrition

    this new japanese study puts a dent in this theory.

    http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=CNG.c7aaeb7940626693fa418a1eab2291f6.81&show_article=1

    of course some people will still feel it's politically incorrect to have a waist line.

  • 0

    electric2004

    Actually, the oldest man (or woman) can never die. Even if he (she) apparently does so, there is another one to fill the gap.

  • 0

    chardk1

    Well, that's some consolation for John McCain. He may not have won the office of President, but at least he's the world's oldest man.

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