(TOKYO) — She was born in the midst of the Spanish-American War. The year she was born, China leased Hong Kong’s territories to the British. Now, 114 years later, Japanese super centenarian Misao Okawa is still going strong.
Okawa officially became the oldest woman in the world Wednesday, joining fellow countryman, 115-year-old Jiroemon Kimura in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Presented with a plaque commemorating the new record, Okawa simply smiled and offered a few words.
“I’m very happy. It feels great,” she said at a nursing home in Osaka with her son Hiroshi, who is 90, by her side.
Born to a clothing merchant in 1898, Okawa married in 1919 and has three children, four grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren. She has spent the last 16 years at a senior home where she’s enjoyed a healthy diet of sashimi and mackerel sushi, her favorite meal.
While Okawa is wheelchair bound, she still manages to push herself through the nursing home when healthy, according to caretakers. She has reportedly never had a major illness in her life.
Already the world’s fastest aging country, Japan is home to more than 51,000 centenarians, by far the largest number. More than 87 percent of them are women, according to government figures.
At 115, Kimura currently holds the title as the world’s oldest living person.
Okawa turns 115 years old next week.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Billy Hallowell, Deseret News
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