Misao Okawa

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Misao Okawa
Misao Okawa.jpg
Okawa in 2013
Native name 大川 ミサヲ
Born (1898-03-05)5 March 1898
Tenma (present-day Kita-ku), Osaka, Japan
Died 1 April 2015(2015-04-01)
(aged 117 years, 27 days)
Higashisumiyoshi-ku, Osaka, Japan
Cause of death Heart failure
Known for Oldest person ever born in Asia, Oldest verified Japanese person ever
Spouse(s) Yukio Okawa (m. 1919–1931; his death)
Children 3 (2 living)
  • 4 grandchildren
  • 6 great-grandchildren

Misao Okawa (大川 ミサヲ Ōkawa Misao?, sometimes romanized as Misawo Okawa; 5 March 1898 – 1 April 2015)[1] was a Japanese supercentenarian who was the world's oldest living person from the death of Japanese man Jiroemon Kimura on 12 June 2013 until her own death on 1 April 2015.[2]

Okawa is the verified oldest Japanese person ever, the oldest person ever born in Asia, the oldest person to have lived in three different centuries, and the fifth oldest verified person ever recorded. Okawa was the 30th person verified to have reached age 115, the tenth verified person to reach the age of 116 and the fifth verified person to reach the age of 117.[3][4]


Okawa was born on 5 March 1898, the fourth daughter of a draper in the Tenma district (present-day Kita-ku) of Osaka. From 1997, she lived at a nursing home in Higashisumiyoshi-ku, Osaka.[1] She married Yukio Okawa in 1919 and had three children (two daughters and one son), of whom her son, Hiroshi, and daughter Shizuyo survived her.[5] Her husband died on 20 June 1931 at age 36.[6] She had four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.[5][7] She was able to walk until she was 110, when she began using a wheelchair to prevent falls. She could, however, propel herself using her wheelchair.[5]

Okawa died at her nursing home residence in Higashisumiyoshi-ku, Osaka, Japan, at 6:58 am, on 1 April 2015[1][8] after suffering heart failure.[9]


Okawa was the world's oldest living woman since the death of 115-year-old Japanese woman Koto Okubo on 12 January 2013.[10] On 27 February 2013, a few days before her 115th birthday, she was officially recognized by Guinness World Records as the oldest living woman in the world and was presented with a certificate at her nursing home in Osaka.[7]

Okawa said that sushi and sleep were the reasons why she lived so long.[11] On her 117th birthday, she said that her life seemed short. When asked about the secret of her longevity, she replied, jokingly, "I wonder about that too."[12]

Following the death of Okawa, American woman Gertrude Weaver became the world's oldest living person until her own death five days later.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c 世界最高齢大川ミサヲさん死去=117歳、老衰で-大阪 [Misao Osawa, world's oldest person, dies of old age in Osaka at 117]. Jiji.com (in Japanese). Japan: Jiji Press. April 1, 2015. Retrieved April 1, 2015. [dead link]
  2. ^ "Jiroemon Kimura, Oldest Man in Recorded History, Dies at 116". Archived from the original on June 15, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Born In 1898: World's Oldest Living Person Celebrates Birthday". NPR.org. March 4, 2015. 
  4. ^ Sam Frizell (March 4, 2015). "The World's Oldest Person is Totally Chill About Turning 117". TIME.com. 
  5. ^ a b c これまでの人生振り返り「短いな」世界最高齢女性の大川ミサヲさんが115歳の誕生日 [Birthday of the 115-year-old Misao Okawa's oldest women in the world "short" recalls life so far]. Sankei News (in Japanese). Japan. March 5, 2013. Retrieved April 29, 2014. 
  6. ^ Guinness World Records 2014. Guinness World Records. p. 59. ISBN 978-1908843357. 
  7. ^ a b "Japan names world's oldest woman". USA Today. February 27, 2013. Retrieved February 27, 2013. 
  8. ^ Okawa profile, bbc.co.uk; accessed April 1, 2015.
  9. ^ Tanya Lewis, [1], Live Science, April 1, 2015. Retrieved April 1, 2015
  10. ^ Ryall, Julian (January 14, 2013). "Oldest woman in the world dies". The Telegraph. Tokyo: Telegraph Media Group Limited. Retrieved January 28, 2013. 
  11. ^ Innes, Emma (March 3, 2014). "World's oldest woman Misao Okawa says Sushi and sleep are secret to a long life". Daily Mail Online. London. Retrieved April 1, 2015. 
  12. ^ McCurry, Justin (March 5, 2015). "Life seems short, says world's oldest person at 117". The Guardian. Retrieved March 13, 2015. 
  13. ^ Izadi, Elahe (April 6, 2015). "Gertrude Weaver dies just five days after becoming the world's oldest person". Washington Post. Retrieved 14 October 2015.