Jiroemon Kimura

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Jiroemon Kimura
Jiroemon Kimura (ODN News).png
Kimura on his 115th birthday on April 19, 2012
Native name 木村 次郎右衛門
Born 三宅 金治郎 (Miyake Kinjiro)
(1897-04-19)April 19, 1897
Kamiukawa, Japan
Died (2013-06-12)June 12, 2013
(aged 116 years, 54 days)
Kyōtango, Japan
Nationality Japanese
Occupation Retired postal worker, farmer[1]
Known for
  • Oldest man ever
  • Only man in history who undisputedly reached age 116
  • Oldest living person (December 17, 2012 – June 12, 2013)
Spouse(s) Yae Kimura (1904–1978) (m. ?–1978; her death)
Children 7
Parent(s) Morizo and Fusa Miyake

Jiroemon Kimura (木村 次郎右衛門, Kimura Jirōemon, April 19, 1897 – June 12, 2013) was a Japanese supercentenarian. He became the oldest verified male in history on December 28, 2012, at the age of 115 years and 253 days when he surpassed the age of Christian Mortensen who died in 1998,[2] and also became the first and so far the only man who indisputably reached 116 years of age, being 116 years, 54 days old at the time of his death from natural causes on June 12, 2013, in a hospital in his hometown of Kyōtango, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan. He was the last known living man born in the 19th century.[3][4][5]

Kimura became the oldest living man in Japan upon the death of Tomoji Tanabe on June 19, 2009,[6] the world's oldest living man upon the death of Walter Breuning on April 15, 2011,[a][7][8] the oldest living person in Japan upon the death of Chiyono Hasegawa on December 2, 2011, and the world's oldest living person[9] upon the death of Dina Manfredini on December 17, 2012,[10] until his own death.

Early life and education[edit]

Kimura was born as Kinjiro Miyake (三宅 金治郎, Miyake Kinjirō). According to records, he was born on April 19, 1897,[9] in the fishing village of Kamiukawa, the third of six children born to farmers Morizo and Fusa Miyake.[2] According to Kimura's nephew, Tamotsu Miyake, Kimura was actually born on March 19, 1897, but his birthday was instead recorded as April 19, 1897, by mistake in 1955 when records from neighboring towns were consolidated and re-done.[2] He finished school second in his class at age 14 and commenced working from local post offices around the age of 17.

Marriage and career[edit]

In the 1920s, Kimura also worked as a government communications worker in Korea under Japanese rule.[2] Upon returning from Korea, he married his neighbor, Yae Kimura (1904–1978).[2] Since his wife's family lacked a male heir, he changed his name to Jiroemon Kimura, becoming the ninth member of the family to bear that name.[2] He retired in 1962 at the age of 65, having worked in post offices for 45 years.[2] After retiring he turned to farming until the age of 90.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Four of Kimura's siblings lived past the age of 90, and his youngest brother died at the age of 100.[2] Kimura had 7 children (5 of whom survived him), 14 grandchildren (13 surviving), 25 great-grandchildren and 15 great-great-grandchildren.[11][12] Kimura was health conscious and active.[13] He woke up early in the morning and read newspapers with a magnifying glass.[13] Also, he enjoyed talking to guests and followed live parliamentary debates on television. According to him, small portions of food (hara hachi bun me) (腹八分目/はらはちぶんめ) were the key to a long and healthy life.[13][14] Kimura resided in Kyōtango, Kyoto Prefecture, with his eldest son's widow, 83, and his grandson's widow, 59.[8]

On his 114th birthday on April 19, 2011, Kimura mentioned his survival of the 7.6 magnitude 1927 Kita Tango earthquake that hit Kyoto and killed over 3,000 people.[15] Being born in the year 30 of the Meiji period, he lived in the reigns of 4 emperors, and during the premierships of 61 Japanese Prime Ministers, from Matsukata Masayoshi to Shinzō Abe.

In October 2012, Kimura was presented with a certificate from Guinness World Records Editor-in-Chief Craig Glenday, relating to Kimura's appearance in the 2013 edition of Guinness World Records book; this was the second year in a row Kimura was recognized as the oldest living man in the world, as he also appeared in the book the year before. During the meeting, Kimura said he spent most of his time in bed.[16]

On his 116th and final birthday, Kimura received many well-wishes, including a video message from Japan's Prime Minister Shinzō Abe.[4] He was hospitalized for pneumonia on May 11, 2013. On May 23, 2013, when James Sisnett of Barbados died, Kimura became the last verified living man born in the 19th century.[14] He died of natural causes in the hospital in his hometown of Kyōtango, western Japan, at 2:08 a.m. on June 12, 2013.[12][17] His funeral was held on June 14.[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Breuning died April 14, 2011, 3:30pm MDT. However, in Japan, where Kimura lived, the date was already April 15, 2011 (JST).


  1. ^ a b "World's oldest man celebrates 114th birthday". The Daily Telegraph. London. April 19, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Matsuyama, Kanoko (December 27, 2012). "Japanese 115-Year-Old Becomes Oldest Man in History". Bloomberg. Archived from the original on December 28, 2012. Retrieved December 28, 2012. 
  3. ^ "World's oldest man ever turns 116 in Kyoto as his health is studied". The Japan Daily Press. April 15, 2013. Retrieved April 19, 2013. 
    - "World's oldest person turns 116 in Japan". FRANCE 24 International News. April 19, 2013. Retrieved April 19, 2013. [permanent dead link]
    - "World's oldest person Jiroemon Kimura turns 116 in Japan". The Economic Times. Agence France-Presse. Retrieved April 19, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Zoominuk. "World's oldest man ever turns 116". YouTube. 
  5. ^ "From horseless carriages to iPhone5s: The world during 116-year-old Jiroemon Kimura's lifetime". June 9, 2013. Retrieved June 11, 2013. 
    - "Jiroemon Kimura, Oldest Man in Recorded History, Dies at 116". June 12, 2013. Retrieved June 14, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Japan's oldest man says 'thank you very much'". Japan Times. June 22, 2009. Archived from the original on July 26, 2010. Retrieved October 3, 2009. 
  7. ^ Volz, Matt (April 14, 2011). "Walter Breuning, World's Oldest Man, Dies In Montana At 114". Huffington Post. Retrieved December 17, 2012. 
  8. ^ a b Breaking News Online Team (April 19, 2011). "Jiroemon Kimura becomes World's Oldest Man at 114". Breaking News Online. Archived from the original on October 3, 2011. 
  9. ^ a b "Oldest Validated Living Supercentenarians". Gerontology Research Group. Archived from the original on December 1, 2007. Retrieved December 12, 2012. 
  10. ^ "115-year-old Iowa Woman Dies, Was World's Oldest Person". KCRG-TV9. December 17, 2012. Archived from the original on November 13, 2014. Retrieved December 17, 2012. 
  11. ^ 「はいはい、ありがとう」長寿世界一の木村さんが116回目の誕生日 [World's oldest person, Kimura, celebrates 116th birthday]. MSN Sankei News (in Japanese). Japan: The Sankei Shimbun & Sankei Digital. April 19, 2013. Retrieved April 19, 2013. 
  12. ^ a b 長寿世界一 116歳の木村次郎右衛門氏死去 [World's oldest person, Jiroemon Kimura, dies at 116]. Sponichi Annex (in Japanese). Japan: Sports Nippon Newspapers. June 12, 2013. Archived from the original on June 16, 2013. Retrieved 11 February 2016. ... died of old age at a hospital in Kyotango, Kyoto (老衰のため京都府京丹後市の病院で死去した) 
  13. ^ a b c Yamaguchi, Mari (September 10, 2009). "Japan's century club swells to more than 40,000". ABC News. Archived from the original on July 26, 2010. Retrieved October 3, 2009. 
  14. ^ a b Kemsley, Tamarra (May 28, 2013). "Last Man Alive to Have Been Born in 1800s Celebrates 116th Birthday". Nature World News. Retrieved 4 January 2015. 
  15. ^ "Der älteste Mann der Welt". Asienspiegel (in German). April 20, 2011. 
  16. ^ "Worlds oldest living man welcomes Guinness World Records editor to his home". Guinness World Records. October 15, 2012. 
    - "New record for world's oldest man Jiroemon Kimura". BBC News. October 16, 2012. 
  17. ^ Damien Fletcher (June 12, 2013). "World's oldest person and oldest man ever to live Jiroemon Kimura dies aged 116". Daily Mirror. Retrieved January 4, 2014. 
  18. ^ いつまでも「輝く宝」で 木村次郎右衛門さん告別式 [Jiroemon Kimura's funeral – a sparkling jewel forever]. Kyoto Shimbun (in Japanese). Japan: The Kyoto Shimbun Co., Ltd. June 14, 2013. Retrieved October 20, 2013.