Shigeko Toda was a validated Japanese supercentenarian who died in 2019 at the age of 110.

Shigeko Toda was born in Tonbara Town, Shimane Prefecture, Japan, on 31 July 1908. She pursued an illustrious career in music education. After finishing junior high in 1923, she attended Shimane Women’s Normal School (now Shimane University) and graduated in 1927. Toda began her career as an elementary school teacher in Yoshida Village before shifting her focus to music. She studied piano in Matsue City to prepare for Tokyo Music School (now Tokyo University of the Arts), graduating in 1932.

Upon her return to Shimane after her father’s death, Toda supported her mother and taught music at high schools in Izumo City, Awaji City, and Nara Prefecture. After World War II, she taught in Hiroshima Prefecture, emphasizing chorus and split singing, until her retirement at age 50 in 1958.

In her 50s. (Source: Chugoku Shimbun)

In her 50s.
(Source: Chugoku Shimbun)

Post-retirement, Toda moved to Saeki-ku, Hiroshima City, and dedicated herself to early childhood music education. She founded “Suginoko-kai” music school and taught over 500 students, promoting her philosophy of enriching life through early music exposure. Notable students included conductor Eiji Ōue and composer Tomiko Kōjiba. Leonard Bernstein once praised her as a “great music teacher.

Toda continued teaching past her centennial, holding her last piano recital at 108 before moving to a nursing home, where students still visited her. Toda passed away on 31 March 2019, at the age of 110 years, 243 days. After her death, the grand piano she had used for many years was donated to her hometown, Iinan City, Shimane Prefecture.

LongeviQuest congratulates Shigeko Toda’s family on her posthumous recognition.

For more information, please view Mrs. Toda’s Directory Profile here.