Japan's oldest living person celebrates 116th birthday


Tomiko Itooka, Japan's oldest person and the second oldest person in the world, turned 116 on Thursday.

Key points:

  • A lively celebration attended by the mayor, nursing home staff and fellow residents was held at Itooka's nursing home in Ashiya City.

  • The supercentenarian expressed gratitude to those who joined her celebration.

  • Itooka is the eighth Japanese person to verifiably reach the age of 116 and the 30th person in recorded history to do so.



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The details:

  • Born in Osaka in 1908, Itooka led an active life, raising four children and even managing her husband's textile factory during World War II. She enjoyed hiking and pilgrimage, even climbing Mount Ontake in her 80s.

  • Itooka moved to a nursing home in Ashiya City at 110 and continues to enjoy her favorite drink, Calpis, every morning. She became the oldest person in Japan after the passing of 116-year-old Fusa Tatsumi on Dec. 12, 2023. She then became the second-oldest person globally following the death of Edie Ceccarelli in the U.S. on Feb. 22.

  • During her birthday celebration, Itooka received flowers, a plaque and well wishes from around the world. Ashiya City Mayor Ryosuke Takashima and representatives from research organization LongeviQuest delivered congratulatory messages for the celebrant. She responded with a clear "thank you" before enjoying her birthday cake.


  • Japan's centenarian population reached a record high of 92,139 in Sept. 2023, with women accounting for 88.5% of this demographic. Official data revealed a rise of 1,613 centenarians compared to the previous year, marking the 53rd consecutive year of increase.

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