Happy Birthday to the World's Oldest Person, Who Turned 116 Today

Misao Okawa celebrated her 116th birthday today, making her the oldest person in the world.

Mashable has a review of just some of the amazing historical events Okawa has been alive to witness.

The daughter of a kimono maker, Okawa was born in Osaka, Japan, on March 5, 1898 — a year when Queen Victoria sat on the British throne, New York added surrounding counties that would become the five famous boroughs, and the Philippines declared independence. [Okawa] is one of only five people alive born in the 19th century, and all five are women. Okawa assumed the title of the oldest person in the world after Jireomon Kimura of Japan died in June 2013 at the age of 116.

Okawa is a mother of three, two of whom are still alive and in their 90s. She also has four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. She told The Telegraph that marrying her husband, Yukic Okawa, in 1919, was one of the happiest moments of her long life. One of the worst moments: losing him 12 years later in 1931.


"Eat and sleep and you will live a long time," she told The Telegraph. "You have to learn to relax." Okawa is also kind of a badass, too:

Mrs Okawa underlined the determined side of her character after suffering a fall at the age of 102 in which she broke her leg. After she returned to the nursing home from a stay in hospital, the staff found her doing leg squats as she held on to a hand rail in the hall. When asked what she was doing, Mrs Okawa replied that she was making sure her body did not get out of shape.

Oh, and in case you glossed over this: "Okawa is one of only five people alive born in the 19th century, and all five are women." Ladies are dominating the Oldest People Alive game. Not bad! Take that, patriarchy!

Image via Getty Images.

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