World’s oldest man, Nonaka dies aged 113

By: theguardian.com
World's oldest man, Nonaka dies
Nonaka receives a Guinness World Records certificate naming him the world's oldest man on April 10, 2018. Kyodo via Reuters

The world’s oldest man, Masazo Nonaka has died at his home, a hot springs on Japan’s northern main island of Hokkaido, at the age of 113.

His family said Masazo Nonaka died peacefully from natural causes in the early hours of Sunday, January 20,2019 while sleeping in the inn in Ashoro, which has been run by his family for four generations.

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Born on 25 July 1905, Nonaka grew up in a large family and succeeded his parents to run the inn, which is now operated by his granddaughter. He has outlived his wife and three of their five children.

“We feel shocked at the loss of this big figure. He was as usual yesterday and passed away without causing our family any fuss at all,” his granddaughter Yuko told Kyodo News.

Nonaka had six brothers and one sister, marrying in 1931 and fathering five children.

In retirement, he enjoyed watching sumo wrestling on TV and eating sweets, according to local media.

Japan has one of the world’s highest life expectancies and was home to several people recognised as among the oldest humans to have lived.

These included Jiroemon Kimura, the longest-living man on record, who died soon after his 116th birthday in June 2013.

The oldest verified person – the Frenchwoman Jeanne Louise Calment – died in 1997 at the age of 122, according to Guinness World Records.

Guinness officially recognised Nonaka as the oldest living man after the death of Spaniard Francisco Nunez Olivera last year.