World's oldest person Kane Tanaka of Japan turns 117, finds birthday cake 'Oishii'

Japan's Tanaka was given the title last year on March 9 and today she turned 117

World's oldest person Kane Tanaka added another year to her record as she celebrated her 117th birthday on January 2. Tanaka's birthday celebrations were held at a nursing home based in Fukuoka in Southern Japan on Sunday.

The birthday celebrations were televised live by the local broadcaster TVQ Kyushu Broadcasting Company, as Tanaka cut her birthday cake in the presence of friends and staff members of the nursing home. After cutting her birthday cake, the supercentenarian took a bite and said that the cake was tasty or 'oishii'. She said, "I want some more."

Kane Tanaka
Kane Tanaka during her 117th birthday celebrations at a nursing home in Fukuoka, southwestern Japan. Kyodo

Tanaka was given the title last year

It was on March 9, last year, when authorities from the Guinness World Records named her as the oldest living person. Tanaka was 116 years and 66 days old at the time of her feat.

Previously, the record was held by a French woman named Jeanne Louise Calment, who died at the age of 122 years. Calment was named as the oldest person ever by the Guinness World Records.

Kane Tanaka

Born prematurely in 1903, Tanaka was the seventh child of couple Kumakichi and Kuma Ota. She was born in the village of Wajiro, Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan. After the death of her son and husband Hideo, whom she married in 1922, Tanaka worked in a store until she retired at the age of 63.

The record-holder was diagonised with colon cancer at the age of 103. According to the Guinness World Records, Tanaka has four biological children and one adopted child, with her husband. The supercentenarian who enjoys studying mathematics, gets up by 6 am every morning.

Japan and its history of longest living persons

Japan has a long history of holding world records when it comes to age. Previously the record of world's oldest living person, was held by Japan's Misao Okawa, who died at the age of 117. Born on 5 March 1898, Okawa died from heart failure at a nursing home in Osaka.

The world's oldest man also hailed Japan. Masazo Nonaka, who held the record until his death at the age of 113 in January, last year, was living on northernmost island of Hokkaido, in Japan. His family members reasoned the stress-free life led by Masazo as his secret for long life. Having strong sweet tooth, Masazo, was often seen moving around in his wheelchair , donning his trademark cap.

The country, battling with labour shortage, is known for its fast-ageing population and dwindling birth rate. According to Japan's welfare ministry, in 2019, the number of births fell 5.9% bringing the number of less than 900,000 for the first time.