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BIOGRAPHY

Fusako Wakai was born in Teramachi in Jōetsu City, Niigata Prefecture, Japan, on 19 January 1914, as the eldest daughter. After graduating from a girls’ high school, she moved to Tokyo at the age of 20, where she eventually married. The couple went on to have three children.

After World War II, her husband passed away, and two out of her three sons also died at a young age. When she was around 30 years old, she developed an interest in the “Koryu” (Japanese: 古流) school of flower arranging and obtained her instructor’s diploma. In her mid-thirties, she established a flower arranging school, teaching it to students in her home classroom as well as at a high school where she worked as a teacher. Until she was around 83 years old, she consistently traveled to Itoigawa City to teach. Even at the age of 100, she continued to teach 10 students, finding joy in sharing lunches with them in the classroom.

Wakai closed her flower arranging school at the age of 105 and moved to a nursing home at 106. On her 110th birthday, the mayor of Jōetsu City and her former students visited to congratulate her on her remarkable life. Due to her preference for pudding, the nursing home presented her with an extra-large pudding instead of a traditional birthday cake. At 110, her daily routine involves watching sumo matches on TV, engaging in conversations with fellow residents, and, despite using a wheelchair, she is able to feed herself independently. Her favorite phrase remains, “I don’t feel like I’m going to die yet.”

RECOGNITION

In September 2023, following the passing of 112-year-old Kikuyo Honma, she was reported as the fourth-oldest living person in Niigata Prefecture.

Her age was verified by Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare (MHLW), as well as Ryohei Asano and Takehiro Shibuya, and validated by LongeviQuest on 27 January 2024.

ATTRIBUTION

* “自然と対話 美を表現 若井扶佐子さん(100)=上越市=” – Niigata Nippo, 15 September 2014

* “祝!!若井扶佐子様110歳” – サンクス高田, 19 January 2024

* “上越の若井さん110歳 市内最高齢、お祝いの会” – Niigata Nippo, 20 January 2024

* “上越市最高齢の若井扶佐子さん 110歳のお祝いセレモニー” – Jōetsu Myōkō Town Information, 22 January 2024

GALLERY

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