AP photo
Misao Okawa blew out three candles for each figure of 116 on her birthday March 5.

World's Oldest Living Person Credits Health to Sushi and Sleep


Born on March 5, 1898, to kimono-makers in Osaka, Japan, 116-year-old Misao Okawa thanks a good night's sleep and lots of sushi for her health, she told The Telegraph.

“Eat and sleep and you will live a long time,” she told the newspaper. “You have to learn to relax.”

Her prescription for longevity also includes physical activity. She stresses the importance of keeping her body "in shape," and was reportedly found doing leg squats in her retirement home at the ripe age of 102.

Experts additionally point to Japan's comprehensive health care and community support for their comparatively longer life spans.

Japanese women live 85.9 years on average; men, 79.6 years. The country was home to 54,397 centenarians on the last Respect for the Aged national holiday in September, including 282 super-centenarians, meaning those who have reached the age of 110.

Okawa earned the title of the oldest living person in the world after 116-year-old Jireomon Kimura passed in June 2013. But she still has 6 more years to go to garner the record for the world's oldest ever person, held by Jeanne Calment of France, who died in 1997 at 122 years old, reported The Mirror.

Okawa's life has spanned three centuries, and her family tree continues to grow. Mrs. Okawa married Yukio Okawa in 1919. Mr. Okawa passed 83 years ago, on June 20, 1931—one of the saddest moments of Mrs. Okawa's life, she told The Telegraph. The couple had two daughters, one of whom is still alive at age 92, and one son, now 94. She counts four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

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