Misao Okawa

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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 (2015-04-01)1 April 2015
(aged 117 years, 27 days)
Higashisumiyoshi-ku, Osaka, Japan
Cause of death Heart failure
Known for Oldest living person
(12 June 2013 – 1 April 2015)
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 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.[3] Her husband died on 20 June 1931 at age 36.[4] She had four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.[3][5] 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.[3]


Okawa was the world's oldest living woman since the death of 115-year-old Japanese woman Koto Okubo on 12 January 2013.[6] 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.[5]

Okawa said that sushi and sleep were the reasons why she lived so long.[7] 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."[8]


Okawa died at her nursing home residence in Higashisumiyoshi-ku, Osaka, Japan, at 6:58 am, on 1 April 2015[1][9] after suffering heart failure.[10] At the time of her death, Okawa was the fifth-oldest verified person ever recorded.[11] Following the death of Okawa, American woman Gertrude Weaver became the world's oldest living person until her own death five days later.[12]

Since the death of Okawa, An Anonymous woman who was born on 15 March 1900 and lived in Tokyo became Japan's oldest living person.[13] Okawa was the last verified living Japanese person born in the 1800s.[14]

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. Archived from the original on April 1, 2015. Retrieved April 1, 2015. 
  2. ^ "Jiroemon Kimura, Oldest Man in Recorded History, Dies at 116". Archived from the original on June 15, 2013. 
  3. ^ 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. Archived from the original on April 29, 2014. Retrieved April 29, 2014. 
  4. ^ Guinness World Records 2014. Guinness World Records. p. 59. ISBN 978-1908843357. 
  5. ^ a b "Japan names world's oldest woman". USA Today. February 27, 2013. Retrieved February 27, 2013. 
  6. ^ Ryall, Julian (January 14, 2013). "Oldest woman in the world dies". The Telegraph. Tokyo: Telegraph Media Group Limited. Retrieved January 28, 2013. 
  7. ^ 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. 
  8. ^ McCurry, Justin (March 5, 2015). "Life seems short, says world's oldest person at 117". The Guardian. Retrieved March 13, 2015. 
  9. ^ Okawa profile, bbc.co.uk; accessed April 1, 2015.
  10. ^ Tanya Lewis, [1], Live Science, April 1, 2015. Retrieved April 1, 2015
  11. ^ "Misao Okawa, World's Oldest Person, Dead At 117". Huffingtonpost. 1 April 2015. Retrieved 26 December 2016. 
  12. ^ Izadi, Elahe (April 6, 2015). "Gertrude Weaver dies just five days after becoming the world's oldest person". Washington Post. Retrieved 14 October 2015. 
  13. ^ "国内最高齢の115歳女性が死去" [Oldest person in Japan has died at 115]. NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation). 28 September 2015. Archived from the original on 2015-10-01. Retrieved 24 April 2018.  (in Japanese)
  14. ^ 100歳以上生きる「一世紀人」が激増中! - 日経Bizアカデミー (in Japanese) Retrieved December 26, 2016.