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BIOGRAPHY

Hashimoto was born in Sanda, Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan, on 27 April 1891. His father passed away when he was four years old. Following his father’s death, his mother brought him back to her hometown to live with her brother’s family. His grandfather, the local postmaster and patriarch of a prominent ancestral lineage, was wealthy and influential. His childhood was characterized by strictness.

At the age of 15, after completing school, his uncle asked about his career aspirations. He expressed an interest in becoming a photographer or a tailor, citing these as new businesses with promising prospects for the future. Upon hearing this, his uncle took him on a trip to Osaka Prefecture, renowned for its merchant culture and many job opportunities. During this journey, Hashimoto became captivated by the Western-style jackets displayed in shop windows, ultimately deciding to pursue a career as a tailor. He visited local tailor shops until he found someone who would hire him as an apprentice. By the age of 19, he had completed his training and was prepared to launch his career. Around this period, he married a woman named Hanae from his hometown of Sanda. They settled there together as Hashimoto prepared to pursue his career as a tailor. Hanae’s parents owned an orchard business, and the couple worked there, harvesting fruit while planning their future. They went on to have seven children.

Hashimoto and his wife established a successful tailoring business specializing in custom suits, with him handling pattern design and sewing. As word of his skills spread, clients of increasing prestige and affluence sought out the tailor shop he had built in his hometown. Over the next 86 years, he honed his craft and earned the title of a master tailor, receiving numerous awards for his craftsmanship. At the age of 102, he completed his final project, crafting a custom suit for the mayor of Sanda City.

When he was 109 years old, his wife passed away; she was around 103 years old. He continued to care for himself until a stroke left him paralyzed on his right side.

Hashimoto passed away in Sanda, Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan, on 31 May 2003, at the age of 112 years, 34 days.

RECOGNITION

On 28 August 1997, following the death of 108-year-old Toyoji Ishida (Japanese: 石田豊治), he became the oldest living man in Hyōgo Prefecture, at the age of 106. Subsequently, on 2 November 1999, at the age of 108 years, 189 days, he surpassed Ishida’s final age, becoming the oldest man to ever live in the Prefecture.

In April 2001, he celebrated his 110th birthday, becoming the first male supercentenarian in Hyōgo Prefecture and the fourth overall, following Pei Punson (1886–1996), Soto Kitagawa (1890–2001), and Tsuru Misawa (1891–2002).

On 21 September 2002, following the death of 111-year-old Tsuru Misawa, he became the oldest living person in Hyōgo Prefecture.

On 6 January 2003, at the age of 111 years, 254 days, he surpassed Misawa’s final age, becoming the oldest person to ever live in Hyōgo Prefecture. He held this title until his final age was surpassed by Yoshino Ide on 5 February 2008.

ATTRIBUTION

* “[訃報] 橋元唯乃助さん112歳 死去=近畿最高齢者” – Mainichi Shimbun, 2 June 2003

* Earth’s Elders: The Wisdom of the World’s Oldest People

GALLERY

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