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New Validation: Shizuko Kiyuna of Japan (1912-Present)

In April 2018, at the age of 105. (Source: Courtesy of the family) In April 2018, at the age of 105. (Source: Courtesy of the family)

LongeviQuest is pleased to announce the age validation of Shizuko Kiyuna of Japan at age 111. She was born in Chatan, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan on 10 June 1912. After graduating from school, she spent several years helping her parents cultivate sugar cane fields. She married at the age of 17 and had four children.

Kiyuna (second from the left) with her family in 1960, at the age of 48. (Source: Courtesy of the family)
Kiyuna (second from the left) with her family in 1960, at the age of 48.
(Source: Courtesy of the family)

While her husband was deployed to the Sino-Japanese War, Kiyuna remained in Okinawa. She patiently waited for his return while caring for their young children. She wrote a letter to her husband’s captain. Impressed by her letter, the captain took steps to enhance her husband’s standing within the military. Kiyuna’s family admired her strength and determination, recognizing her role in supporting her husband’s success behind the scenes during his military service. During World War II, her husband remained in Chatan Town as a civil servant. Even after the war, Kiyuna continued to support her husband in his role, managing household duties, raising their children, and maintaining a strong passion for farming. Her dedication to farming and her unwavering work ethic were so profound that she often found it difficult to take the time to attend parent-teacher conferences at her children’s schools.

Kiyuna opened a small general store called “Kiyuna Shōten” around 1957. She ran the store until she was 60 years old. After retiring, she built a house near the store. Kiyuna filled the front garden with orchids, azaleas, and other flowers while growing vegetables in the back garden. Even into her 90s, she continued to pursue various interests, including playing the Ryukyu koto and practicing calligraphy. Her calligraphy was praised for its beauty and featured on the cover of a history book about Shimoseido in Chatan Town. The book also acknowledged her establishment of Kiyuna Shōten as a significant part of the town’s history. Despite her age, Kiyuna maintained her appearance. She was always applying makeup, dressing elegantly, carrying a handbag, and walking to her son’s store every day. She instilled the importance of grooming in her granddaughters, gifting them with lipstick upon marriage or childbirth.

Kiyuna’s calligraphy on a history book about Shimoseido in Chatan Town

At the age of 98, Kiyuna moved into a nursing home due to a broken leg. She would return home for the Obon and New Year holidays until around the age of 103. Even at 106, she could still use her wheelchair independently and would make daily rounds to greet the other residents of the care home. At 111 years old, she has a healthy appetite and enjoys spending time with her fellow residents in the living room. In September 2020, she was reported as the 14th-oldest living person in Okinawa Prefecture.

On 4 July 2023, following the death of 114-year-old Ushi Makishi, she became the oldest living person in Chatan Town.

In September 2023, she was reported as the third-oldest living person in Okinawa Prefecture, behind an anonymous 114-year-old lady and Kikue Taira.

For more information, please view Shizuko Kiyuna’s Directory Profile here.

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