Kane Tanaka's family will greatly miss their fun-loving member who spread nothing but joy.
The world's oldest living person in Japan has passed away at the age of 119. Born on January 2, 1903, Kane Tanaka died on April 19 according to a statement released by the country's Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare. Earlier this month, Tanaka's family took to social media to reveal that she had been "in and out of hospital" after becoming sick frequently. Senior gerontology consultant Robert Young, who previously confirmed Tanaka to be the oldest person alive back in 2019, confirmed the news of her passing. Her death left folks over at the Guinness World Records saddened who expressed their heartbreak over a tweet.
"She became the oldest living person in January 2019 at the age of 116 years and 28 days. She is also the second oldest person ever recorded, behind only Jeanne Calment who lived to the age of 122," read the Twitter post.
【大快挙】119歳到達🎉— 田中カ子 (@tanakakane0102) January 1, 2022
Tanaka was just 19 when she married a rice shop owner and ran worked at the store until she was 103. She lived through several historical events including the two world wars, the 1918 Spanish Flu, the Second Sino-Japanese War, and the recent COVID-19 pandemic. Tanaka, who was the seventh of nine siblings, also survived cancer twice.
Her great-granddaughter, Junko, set up a Twitter account back in January 2020 to celebrate the life of the supercentenarian. She posted several pictures of Tanaka enjoying sweet treats like cake and Coca-Cola. "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," said Junko previously according to CNN.
Back in January this year, she celebrated her 119th birthday but could not rejoice with her family in person due to the coronavirus restrictions. But her loved ones did not let this get in the way of her milestone birthday as they expressed their best wishes to her through every means possible. "I would like to personally congratulate her soon," said her 62-year-old grandson, Eiji.
"I hope she remains healthy and has fun every day as she grows older," he noted, adding that Tanaka's upcoming life goal was to turn 120 but she, unfortunately, passed away before that.
Per CNN, a survey in 2020 would that one in every 1565 people in Japan was over 100, and more than 88% of them were women. In July 2020, the government released figures which showed women having a life expectancy of 87.45 years as compared to 81.4 for men. On Monday Guinness World Records shared that "the titles of oldest person living and oldest person living (female) are currently being investigated."
Cover image source: YouTube Screenshot | CBS News