World’s Oldest Woman Celebrates 119th Birthday

by : Shola Lee on :
World's Oldest Woman Celebrates 119th BirthdayAlamy

Kane Tanaka, born in 1903, is the world’s oldest woman and is ringing in her 119th birthday.

Today, January 2, is Tanaka’s birthday and she is said to be celebrating in Fukuoka, Japan.


Tanaka was born in 1903, 11 years before World War One began, and she hopes to live to 120 years old.

The world’s oldest women currently lives in a nursing home in Japan. While she is unable to speak, she communicates with staff through gestures and uses number puzzles to challenge herself.


Her eldest son and her husband both fought in the Sino-Japanese War, which started in 1937.


At 90 years old, Tanaka underwent cataract surgery and had colorectal cancer surgery when she was 103.

As of 2020, Tanaka has five grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

Her 62-year-old grandson Eiji spoke to the Japan Times about the incredible milestone.

‘I would like to personally congratulate her soon. I hope she remains healthy and has fun everyday as she grows older,’ he said.


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There have, however, been claims of other people being older than Tanaka.

Last month, China’s oldest person Alimihan Seyiti is said to have died at the age of 135. However, this information has not been internationally confirmed.

Another woman in Turkey, Seker Arslan, also claims to be 119 and is said to have celebrated her birthday with family in the city of Amasya.


According to her driver’s licence she was born on June 27, 1902, which would make her one year older that Tanaka, though this is also unverified.

Either way, it’s an incredible milestone and we wish Tanaka a very happy birthday.

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Shola Lee

Shola Lee began her journalism career while studying for her undergraduate degree at Queen Mary, University of London and Columbia University in New York. She has written for the Columbia Spectator, QM Global Bloggers, CUB Magazine, UniDays, and Warner Brothers' Wizarding World Digital. Recently, Shola took part in the 2021 BAFTA Crew and BBC New Creatives programme before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news, trending stories, and features.

Topics: Life, birthday, Celebration, Japan


Daily Mail
  1. Daily Mail

    Happy 119TH birthday! 'World's oldest woman' who was born in Japan in 1903 celebrates getting another year older