Miyako Chiyo, The World’s Oldest Person, Dies At 117

Miyako Chiyo of Japan

Miyako Chiyo, 117. Photo: YouTube.

Miyako Chiyo of Japan, the oldest person in the world, died July 22 at the age of 117, CNN reported on Friday.

Chiyo was born on May 22, 1901 and officially clinched the title of oldest living person in April after Babi Tajima from Kikai Island in southern Japan died at the same age.

Their common birth place isn’t surprising. Due to a historically low fertility rate, Japan is considered a “super-aged” nation, where a majority of the population is over the age of 65.

According to Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, as of February 2018, there were more than 60,000 women and 9,000 men over the age of 100. By comparison, Canada’s 2016 census counted 8,230 centenarians — a 41.3 per cent increase from the 2011 figures.

Chiyo’s family, who refer to her as a “goddess”, describe her as a patient and kind person who brought happiness to those around her. She also had a passion for calligraphy and continued creating calligraphic works in her later years.

Her successor as world’s oldest person has yet to be officially announced by Guinness World Record.

The current record for the oldest man in the world is held by Masazo Nonaka, also of Japan, who turned 113 on July 25.