World’s Oldest Person, Misao Okawa of Japan, Dies at 117

Japan's Misao Okawa, then 116, and mayor Takehiro Ogura at a nursing home in Osaka the day before her birthday on March 5, 2015. Source: AP
Japan’s Misao Okawa, then 116, and mayor Takehiro Ogura at a nursing home in Osaka the day before her birthday on March 5, 2015. Source: AP

The world’s oldest ­person, a Japanese woman, has died a few weeks after celebrating her 117th birthday.

Misao Okawa died of heart failure yesterday and stopped breathing as her grandson and nursing home workers stood by her side, said Tomohiro Okada, from her Osaka nursing home. “She went so peacefully, as if she had just fallen asleep,” Mr Okada said. “We miss her a lot.”

Mrs Okawa, born in Osaka on March 5, 1898, was recognised as the oldest person by Guinness World Records in 2013.

It was not clear who would ­replace her as the world’s oldest person. Guinness World Records had begun the process of updating the ranking.

A 115-year-old woman succeeded Mrs Okawa as Japan’s oldest person, according to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. The name of the woman, who was born March 15, 1900, was not released.

Mrs Okawa lost her appetite about 10 days ago. Until then, she had been enjoying her daily cup of coffee and her favourite dishes, including ramen.

The daughter of a kimono maker, Mrs Okawa said at her birthday celebration that her life seemed short. She married her husband, Yukio, in 1919, and they had two daughters and a son. She was survived by four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Her husband died in 1931.

SOURCE: AP

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