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BIOGRAPHY

Kayō was born in Wakugawa, Nakijin, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan on 9 January 1886. She was the second of four children. Longevity ran in her family; her parents died in their 70s, and her younger brother and sister both lived well into their 80s. Her younger sister, however, only reached 60 years old. Kayō never attended school.

At the age of 23, Kayō married, and would later give birth to seven children, the first three of whom died young. The remaining four outlived their mother.

Kayō was very active in her later life, working in the fields until the age of 70. She had cataract surgery at the age of 80, and was widowed at the age of 84. She travelled to Kume at the age of 90, and did her own housework until the age of 93. She ate everything except dairy products, particularly enjoying flavoured pork, an Okinawan delicacy.

As a centenarian, Kayō lived with the family of one of her grandchildren, as well as her daughter-in-law – her main caregiver with whom she occasionally quarrelled due to stubbornness. Kayō did her own laundry, ate full meals, and bathed every other day. She enjoyed drinking tea with her neighbour and dancing the traditional Okinawan dance kachashi. She moved into an elderly care facility at the age of 108, as by 1994, her caregiver was also elderly. When asked about the secret of her longevity, her only response was “I don’t know.”

Kayō died on 13 December 1998 in her hometown of Wakugawa at the age of 112 years, 338 days. She was the eighth-oldest living person in the world whose age has been validated.

Biography sourced from Gerontology Wiki

RECOGNITION

Kayō became Okinawa’s oldest living person following the death of 112-year-old Gengan Tonaki on 24 January 1997. In April 1998, she surpassed Tonaki’s age to become the oldest person ever in the prefecture.

After Kayō’s death, 111-year-old Kamado Okuhara became the oldest resident of Okinawa. Her prefectural longevity record was broken by Kama Chinen in April 2008.

Kayō’s age was verified by Robert Young and validated by the GRG posthumously.

ATTRIBUTION

GALLERY

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