LongeviQuest Japan was privileged to have the opportunity to visit Mrs. Masa Matsumoto to honor her longevity. We visited her at her nursing home and celebrated together with her family on October 1, 2023. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she could not see her family for about three years from 2020 until May 2023, but since June 2023 she has been able to see them again. Now she enjoys having her family visit her twice a month. Matsumoto is currently the 12th oldest person in the world and the oldest living person in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan.

LongeviQuest Japan presented Mrs. Matsumoto with a plaque and a Phalaenopsis orchid. Mrs. Matsumoto adored the phalaenopsis and remarked: “It’s beautiful.”

During our 15-minute meeting, Yamamoto placed her hand on Mrs. Matsumoto’s arm and she commented, “Your hand is warm.” She also kept looking at her daughter Yasuko Nishide’s face and nodded when her daughter spoke to her.

Mrs. Matsumoto was born on 29 November 1909 in Kōnan-cho, Kōka District, Japan (now part of the city of Kōka). She was the oldest of seven children. After graduating from elementary school, she moved away from home and worked as a babysitter for several years at the Mitsubishi Group mansion in Osaka. At the age of 22, she married her childhood friend and had two children, a son and a daughter. Matsumoto lived with her eldest son’s family in Osaka until she was 89. She took pleasure in being with her grandchildren. At 89, Matsumoto even traveled to England to visit her granddaughter. She also visited Belgium while there.

Matsumoto lived in a three-story house. She was reported to walk up and down the stairs to get to her room on the third floor until the age of 108. Between the ages of 92 and 108, Matsumoto attended a local care center for the elderly three times a week, where she painted with watercolors. At 108, she suffered a compression fracture in her lower back naturally while sleeping and was hospitalized. Matsumoto worked hard in rehab to recover and was able to go home. She then stayed in Yokohama City to live with her eldest daughter a month later. She had no other major health problems in her life and drank sake every day until she entered a nursing home. Matsumoto also preferred meat to fish (especially Japanese yakitori). Her family shared that her secret to a long life is her calm personality.

We sincerely wish Mrs. Masa Matsumoto good health and happiness. We also would like to express our deep gratitude to Mrs. Matsumoto’s family and nursing home for graciously accepting our visit.