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BIOGRAPHY

Hanako Ishii was born on May 7, 1913, in Emi Village, Awa District, Chiba Prefecture, Japan. She was the second of three children, and her parents operated a tofu shop. Upon completing high school, she found a job at a general company, where she worked until her marriage.

At the age of 39, she got married, and gave birth to her son at the age of 40. A year later, her husband passed away. This prompted her to return to her parents’ home with her young son. Before her son entered elementary school, she utilized her dressmaking skills to establish a dressmaking class, teaching young girls in the neighborhood how to create clothing. After that, she dedicated herself to household duties and childcare. As she grew older, well into her 70s, she established a daily routine of taking walks to maintain her health.

At the age of 100, cataracts and glaucoma left her with severe visual impairment in both eyes. In spite of this, she retained the ability to eat, walk, and attend to her daily needs with the support of her family. According to her family, she cherished the lively atmosphere of her home, where she spent her days smiling as her relatives laughed and enjoyed each other’s company in the living room. She had no particular preferences when it came to food, enjoying everything her niece prepared; but her favorites included mackerel eggs (boiled in soy sauce) and pumpkin. Her family attribute her longevity to her “calm personality.”

Ishii moved into a nursing home at the age of 100, but after being repeatedly hospitalized due to bronchitis around the age of 105, was transferred to a hospital specializing in senior care. Since then, her health has remained stable, and although she is completely blind and hard of hearing, she is able to engage in everyday communication and responds clearly when nurses speak slowly into her ear. In spite of being fully-blind, Ishii has keen senses. She attends physiotherapy sessions once a week, during which she is able to move from her bed to her wheelchair by synchronizing her own movements with those of the nurses assisting her using the strength of her arms. She engages in conversation with her nurses on a daily basis, and on her better days, enjoys singing nursery rhymes and her favorite song “Ringo no Uta.”

Ishii currently resides in a hospital in Isumi City, where she has been living since she was 105 years old.

RECOGNITION

In September 2021, Ishii was reported as the oldest living woman in the Awa region.

Her age was verified by Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare (MHLW), as well as Yumi Yamamoto, Jack Steer, Yu Li, and Kazuo Ishii, and validated by LongeviQuest on 6 November 2023.

ATTRIBUTION

(All the information regarding Hanako Ishii’s biography was gathered through interviews conducted by LongeviQuest with her family.)

* ”安房の100歳以上は171人 県まとめ” – Bōnichi Shimbun, 16 September 2021

* ”安房の100歳以上は199人” – Bōnichi Shimbun, 21 September 2023

GALLERY

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