Image: Yone Minagawa
Yone Minagawa became the world's oldest person earlier this year.
updated 8/13/2007 9:53:16 PM ET 2007-08-14T01:53:16

Yone Minagawa, who became the world’s oldest person earlier this year, has died at a nursing home in southwestern Japan, an official said Tuesday. She was 114.

Minagawa, who raised four sons and a daughter on her own by peddling flowers and vegetables, died of old age Monday, said Toshiro Tachibana, an official at the nursing home in Fukuchi, 520 miles southwest of Tokyo.

“Her appetite had been declining recently and her energy fading,” Tachibana said. “The death was not sudden.”

Born on Jan. 4, 1893, Minagawa was named the world’s oldest person by the Guinness Book of World Records in January following the death of Emma Faust Tillman, also 114, in the United States.

Minagawa outlived all of her children except one daughter, and had seven grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren, according to the nursing home.

Japan has one of the world’s longest average life spans — a factor often attributed to a healthy diet rich in fish and rice.

In 2006, Japanese women set a new record for life expectancy at 85.81 years, while men live an average of about 79 years.

The number of Japanese living beyond 100 has almost quadrupled in the past 10 years and is soon expected to surpass 28,000, the government announced last September.

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Discussion comments


Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments