The oldest known person in the world has died aged 117
I think there's a little part of all of us that would like to live forever, even if that desire starts to wane as old age brings its fair share of downsides. Getting to live to the age of 100 is remarkable as it is, with your lifetime spanning thousands of technological advancements and monumental changes to the world, but 117 is even more impressive.
Imagine living through not one, but two world wars. Being alive for the invention of the automobile, television, and the internet is pretty damn incredible. If any of us live that long we could see all sorts of out-there science fiction scenarios come to pass: flying cars, commercial space travel, artificial intelligence, and maybe even The Simpsons finally calling it quits with a final episode.
Chiyo Miyako managed to spend 117 years on this world before her death on Sunday 22 July, not long after she received the title of world's oldest person. Her death was confirmed on Friday by Kanagawa Prefecture, her home state south of Tokyo.
Miyako's family often referred to her as "the goddess," according to Guinness World Records. Into her later years, she was apparently still very chatty, and enjoyed calligraphy as a hobby right up until the end. Her husband, Shoji, worked for Japanese National Railways, which gave her opportunities to travel even in her later years.
Born on May 2, 1901, Miyako became the world's oldest person on record in April, after previous record-holder Nabi Tajima passed away. Tajima, from Kikai island in southern Japan, also died at the age of 117.
The successor to Miyako's records is yet to be officially confirmed, but the new oldest person in Japan is Kane Tanaka at 115 years old. Tanaka is from Fukuoka on the southern island of Kyushu, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare confirmed.
Chiyo passed away shortly after evidence from her applications for two world record titles were assessed and approved. This confirmation came following extensive research and an evidence review process conducted by Robert Young, Guinness World Records' senior consultant for gerontology (the scientific study of old age) and the co-director for the Gerontology Research Group. Just before her passing, she attained the title of 'oldest person living' and oldest person living (female)'.
Meanwhile, the world's oldest man, Masazo Nonaka from Japan's northern island of Hokkaido celebrated his 113th birthday on Wednesday. He took on the title of world's oldest man in January this year, after the previous record-holder, Francisco Nunez Olivera, diead at the age of 113.
Following Nunez' death, local officials in the village of Bienvenida, Spain, declared a day of mourning to mark his death. The mayor of the village, Antonio Carmena, described the death as a "shame for the entire village and the whole world", adding that "he has meant a lot to us, he has represented our village and he has helped make us known and loved".
Jeanne Louise Calment, from France, lived to the age of 122 from 1875 to 1997, and currently holds the record for the oldest person ever.