LongeviQuest is pleased to confirm that Tomiko Itooka [Japanese: 糸岡富子] is now Japan’s oldest known living person following the death of  Fusa Tatsumi on 12 December 2023. Currently, Mrs. Itooka is the world’s third-oldest validated living person (behind María Branyas Morera, and Edie Ceccarelli), and the oldest known living person in Hyogo Prefecture.

Source: Courtesy of the family

Mrs. Itooka was born in Osaka City, Osaka Prefecture, Japan on 23 May 1908 as the second (eldest) daughter of three siblings. In 1928, she got married to her husband, who ran a textile factory in South Korea. They had two daughters and two sons. During World War II, she took over the textile factory, protected a Japanese office, and raised her children by herself.

After her husband died in 1979, she lived alone in her husband’s hometown of Nara Prefecture for about 10 years. During that period, she frequently enjoyed climbing Mt. Nijo, which straddles Nara and Osaka prefectures. She also climbed Mt. Ontake (elevation 3000m), which straddles Nagano and Gifu prefectures, twice. The guide was surprised when she climbed the mountain because she wore ordinary sneakers instead of hiking shoes.

When she was in her 80s, she also participated in the Osaka 33 Kannon Pilgrimage (33 temple pilgrimages) twice. At 100 years old, she climbed the long stone steps of Ashiya Shrine without a cane and worshiped. She often visited the Yakushiji Temple in Nara Prefecture and enjoyed writing sutras.

Itooka currently lives in Ashiya, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan.

For more information, please view Tomiko Itooka’s Directory Profile here.