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BIOGRAPHY

Endo was born in Gotemba, Shizuoka Prefecture, on 13 February 1892. She went to school in Tokyo at a time when it was rare for girls to attend school away from home. She later attended a dressmaking college.

Due to the lack of electricity in her home village, Endo was unaware of the telephone’s existence until she witnessed the daughter of the family she boarded with talking to “a curious black machine that had a deep voice.”

When Endo returned to Gotemba to teach at the local primary school, her father was one of the first villagers to own a telephone. The principal of the school asked Endo, then aged 21, to marry him; her father was initially reluctant, but agreed.

The couple both taught in the village of Inno. They built both a school and a library despite the inhabitants’ initial lack of interest in education, and in eight years, the village was noted for its schooling system. The minister of education gave the Endos a special commendation, and by the time of Endo’s death, villagers over the age of 70 could still remember her and her husband’s educational achievements.

Endo gave birth to six children, all of whom outlived her. She spent her later years living with the family of one of her sons in Shizuoka City, and her traditional Japanese lifestyle was complimented with a modern Western touch.

Endo became the oldest living person in Shizuoka Prefecture upon the death of 113-year-old Mise Ito on 18 March 2004. She died on 3 January 2005 at the age of 112 years, 325 days, and was succeeded as the prefecture’s oldest resident by Kano Shiroichi, then aged 107.

RECOGNITION

Endo’s age was verified by Ken Matsuoka and validated by the GRG on 30 September 2002.

In 2010, Endo, along with Frenchwoman Camille Loiseau, were recognised by Guinness World Records (GWR) for being the oldest people to share a birthday.

ATTRIBUTION

GALLERY

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