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BIOGRAPHY

Tome Tanaka was born in Himeji, Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan, on 28 October 1912. She was the second of four children. After graduating from elementary school, she worked as a live-in babysitter in Osaka for several years, a common job for teenage girls at the time.

At one point in her youth, she was married, and in her late 30s, she got married a second marriage. At the age of 39, she gave birth to her daughter. Her husband passed away due to illness just one month after their daughter’s birth. She returned to her parents’ home with her daughter and found employment at a match factory in Himeji City. After several years of working in the factory, at the age of 48, she assumed ownership of her sister’s small bird business. She continued to manage the small bird store until she was around 65 years old. During that time, the trend of keeping small birds as pets was popular, and her store thrived, attracting numerous customers.

When her grandchildren were born, she made the decision to close her shop and, for a time, babysit her grandchildren. Later, she assisted her daughter and son-in-law in their kimono shop, sewing kimonos and undergarments. She continued this work until she was about 100 years old. Her family described her as “a down-to-earth person” who would sit in a traditional Japanese seiza position while sewing kimonos for hours. At the age of 104, she fractured her femur but recovered during her two-month hospital stay, ultimately regaining her ability to walk. Following her hospital discharge, she began receiving short-term care services. As part of her daily routine at home, she would read two newspapers and prepare her favorite dishes: boiled beans, sweet potatoes, and kelp. At the age of 106, she fractured her hand. She was moved into a nursing home thereafter. However, even at the age of 110, her cognitive function remained intact. At the age of 107, she battled pneumonia, but recovered without any life-sustaining treatment.

Tome Tanaka passed away on November 19, 2023 at the age of 111 years and 22 days.

RECOGNITION

On 25 November 2021, following the death of Masue Fujio, she became the oldest living person in Himeji City.

In October 2022, she celebrated her 110th birthday, making her the second person named Tome Tanaka to reach supercentenarian status. The first supercentenarian bearing the same name had passed away in Ōgawara, Miyagi Prefecture, on January 28, 2019, at the age of 112.

Her age was verified by Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare (MHLW), as well as Yumi Yamamoto, Jack Steer, and Michiko Oda, and validated by LongeviQuest on 25 October 2023.

ATTRIBUTION

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

* “長寿 画面越しのお祝い~姫路市長 市内最高齢・田中さんに~” – Yomiuri Shimbun, 20 September 2022

GALLERY

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