The world’s oldest living person, Kane Tanaka, turned 119, according to great-granddaughter Junko Tanaka.
“Great achievement. (Kane Tanaka) reached 119 years of age,” Junko wrote on Twitter, 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 of two commemorative Coca-Cola bottles that Tanaka received for her birthday. The labels contained her name and age.
“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 tweeted.
Junko spoke to CNN in March 2021. At that time, Kane was preparing to carry the Olympic torch before the postponed Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics. Junko started the Twitter account in January 2020 to immortalize Kane’s 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.
Born in 1903, Kane married a rice shop owner at 19 before working in the family store until she was 103.
Tanaka has been through many historical events, including 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.
According to her family, Tanaka now lives in a nursing home in Fukuoka prefecture, where she keeps her mind and body engaged by doing math.
The Guinness Book of World Records recognized her as the world’s oldest living person in 2019.
In September 2021, Spain’s Saturnino de la Fuente García was named the world’s oldest living man at 112 years old. Born in 1909, he endured the Spanish Civil War as a shoemaker.
According to a press release from Guinness World Records, he said the secret to a long life is “A quiet life… and do not hurt anyone.”
Kane received congratulatory messages from Twitter users on her birthday.
“It’s awesome that at 119 years old she can look straight at the camera and make a peace sign,” said Twitter user @TuNatoron.
“Congratulations!! Please always stay healthy,” said Mee-san, another Twitter user.