Shigechiyo Izumi

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Shigechiyo Izumi
Shigechiyo Izumi.jpg
Shigechiyo Izumi with a group of children
Native name
泉 重千代
Born29 June 1865 (or 1880)
Died21 February 1986 (aged either 120 years, 237 days or 105 years, 237 days)
Known forClaimed longevity

Shigechiyo Izumi (泉 重千代, Izumi Shigechiyo, died 21 February 1986) was a Japanese centenarian who was titled the oldest living person after the death of Niwa Kawamoto on 16 November 1976, also from Japan. His case was initially verified by Guinness World Records, who titled him the oldest man ever, but Guinness later withdrew their verification and in the Guinness World Records Book 2012 Christian Mortensen is titled "the oldest verified man ever" (since surpassed by Jiroemon Kimura, see below) and Izumi is not mentioned.[1]


Shigechiyo Izumi is the only son of Tameminamoto Izumi and his mother Tsurukame. He lost his parents at the age of 6 months, and became the adopted son of his grandfather Katsuzumi Izumi in February 1866.

Izumi drank brown sugar shōchū (a Japanese alcoholic beverage often distilled from barley or rice), and took up smoking at age 70. [2]

Guinness World Records found a document attesting that he was 24 years old in 1889 when he was exempted from military service to deal with sugar cane fields.

Death and uncertainty over age[edit]

After a brief hospitalization, Izumi died of pneumonia[3] at 21:15 JST on 21 February 1986. He was one of only two people (the other being Jeanne Calment) verified to have lived past their 120th birthday, although subsequent research has discounted the verification. In April 1987, 14 months after Izumi's death, the Department of Epidemiology at the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology reported that research into Izumi's family registration records indicated Izumi might have been 105 when he died.[4][5] The Guinness World Records Book 2011 states that "The birth certificate submitted as evidence might actually belong to his older brother, who died at a young age; if the family used Shigechiyo as a 'necronym'—that is, gave him his dead brother's name, as the new research suggests—this means his final age was 105 years old, not 120."[6]

The oldest undisputed case of male longevity is Jiroemon Kimura, also from Japan, who died at age 116 years and 54 days.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 2012 edition of Guinness World Records, p.86, ISBN 978-91-7424-168-6
  2. ^ Guinness Book of Records (1993 (32nd edition) ed.). Guinness World Records Limited. October 1992. pp. 320 pages. ISBN 0-85112-978-1.
  3. ^ The Guinness Book of Records, 1999 edition, p. 102. ISBN 0-85112-070-9.
  5. ^ "The Shigechiyo Izumi Case". 1987-04-06. Retrieved 2011-08-20.
  6. ^ CalmentMen1.html, No. 1 of 3; as of September 11, 2012
  7. ^ Matsuyama, Kanoko (June 12, 2013). "Oldest man in history dies at age 116". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 12 June 2013.