Saying goodbye to 117-year-old Misao Okawa, the world’s oldest person

We’re very sad to say goodbye to Japan’s Misao Okawa. She was the world’s oldest person, and passed away Wednesday from natural causes at the age of 117.

Yes, do the math and feel your jaw drop to the floor as you realize that Okawa was born in 1898. She watched horse-drawn carriages become Priuses, Alexander Graham Bell phones become iPhones, and remembered both World Wars not from her high school history textbook BUT FROM HER ACTUAL LIFE. It’s pretty amazing when you stop and think about her it. She leaves behind three children, four grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.

Okawa was born on March 5, 1898, in Osaka Japan where her family ran a kimono shop. How did she live so long? We’ll probably never really know all the myriad factors that helped her see the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries, but, as NPR reports, she ate three big meals a day, slept eight hours every night, and was a big fan of ramen and sushi. “Eating delicious things is the key to my longevity,” Okawa once told the Japan Times. Words to live by, my friends, words to live by.

Now that Okawa has passed on, the world’s oldest person is 116-year old Gertrude Weaver of Arkansas, who will be celebrating the big 1-1-7 on July 4th. It seems the rumor that women outlive men is very true indeed.

Okawa’s friends at her nursing home miss her dearly. Tomohito Okada, acting president of the nursing home told the Japan Times, “I thank her for teaching various experiences to me.”

Here’s to Okawa: We celebrate her life.

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