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BIOGRAPHY

Chūzō Komatsu was born in Akita Prefecture, Japan, on 7 April 1911. At the age of 21, he married Tsuruno, who was three years younger than him, and they raised five children. During his youth, he was exempted from military conscription after an accident in which he burned his finger on a paper lamp. Farming had been a significant part of his life, contributing to his physical activity and overall well-being. He continued to work in the fields until he reached the age of 103.

In 1987, he and his wife celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary by being featured in a public relations magazine for Higashiyuri Town (currently Yurihonjō City). Over the years, his family expanded, and as of 2016, he had nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. His wife passed away in 2009, at the age of 94. In April 2011, he lived in a household of six, consisting of himself, his eldest son, his son’s wife, two of his grandchildren, and one of his grandchildren’s partners in Yurihonjō. In the same year, he celebrated his 100th birthday. The city mayor paid him a visit to congratulate him on his achievement. During the visit, Komatsu received gifts, including some from his grandchildren who lived nearby. The mayor offered well wishes and advised him to take care of his health. In response, Komatsu prophetically stated, I think I’ll be okay for ten more years.”

Despite his age, Komatsu remained in excellent health well into his centenarian years. Even at the age of 105, he always stood up straight and had never experienced serious illnesses or required nursing care. However, he did face some challenges, such as hearing loss. While he no longer worked on the farm at this time, he displayed remarkable independence, still taking care of bathing and other daily necessities completely unassisted. He followed a well-structured daily routine. He would wake up at 5 am every morning and cook using a traditional wood-burning stove. Weather permitting, he would spend an hour pushing a wheelbarrow around his house. Additionally, he enjoyed drinking alcohol, particularly shōchū, a Japanese distilled beverage made from sweet potatoes or rice. At the age of 105, he consumed three glasses of shōchū daily, totaling around 360ml; one glass accompanied breakfast, another accompanied lunch, and the final glass before bed. He often shared this drinking ritual with his son and grandson, with whom he lived. His son commented, “Alcohol is the best medicine for my dad. He has a strong liver.” Komatsu would read the newspaper from start to finish in between drinks every day. He also enjoyed watching sumo wrestling and historical dramas on TV. He attributed his longevity to his daily drinking habit, stating, “It’s best for humans to live their lives by doing what they like without worrying.”

Chūzō Komatsu passed away at the hospital in Yurihonjō, Akita Prefecture, Japan, on 17 August 2021, at the age of 110 years, 132 days.

RECOGNITION

On 21 March 2019, following the death of 110-year-old Teiichirō Iwakawa of Yuzawa, he became the oldest living man in Akita Prefecture.

His age was verified by Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare (MHLW), as well as Yu Li, James Roberts, and Yumi Yamamoto, and validated by LongeviQuest on 14 December 2023.

ATTRIBUTION

* “金婚さんいらっしゃい 小松忠蔵さん・75歳 ツルノさん・72歳” – Higashiyuri Town Public Relations Magazine, 1 January 1987 issue

* “古き心を伝えるふるさとに生きる詩 土んづき唄” – Higashiyuri Town Public Relations Magazine, June 1989 issue

* “健康長寿が一番!” – Yurihonjō City Public Relations Magazine, 15 September 2016 edition

* “敬老の日 100歳以上 ますます元気=秋田” – Yomiuri Shimbun, 19 September 2016

GALLERY

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