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Chiyo Kowada

Gerontology Research Group
Validated By: Gerontology Research Group On Date: Dec. 31st 1998

Chiyo Kowada was a validated Japanese supercentenarian who was one of the oldest living people in Japan at the time of her death.


Chiyo Kowada was born in Iino Village (currently Iino Town), Fukushima Prefecture, Japan on 16 September 1886. She worked in Tokyo. In 1978, she moved into a nursing home for the elderly. She had a competitive spirit, once stating that she aspired to become Japan’s oldest person. She regularly competed in sports contests held at the nursing home. She relieved stress by knitting, which she had a talent for. She took pride in her appearance, and always looked neat and tidy.
The staff at Kowada’s nursing home described her as being “Full of vitality”, and said she was in such good health that she didn’t need assistance with anything until the age of 105.

Chiyo Kowada passed away in a hospital in Kawamata, Fukushima Prefecture on 13 December 1998 at the age of 112 years, 88 days. At the time of her death, she was the oldest person in the Tohoku Region and the third oldest person in Japan.

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Chiyo Kowada became the oldest living person in the Tohoku Region after the death of 113-year-old Take Hayasaka of Miyagi Prefecture.

With Chiyo Kowada’s passing, 106-year-old Saku Sekimoto of Aizuwakamatsu became Fukushima Prefecture’s oldest living person.

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* “県内最高齢者、112歳の古和田チヨさん死去 川俣/福島” Asahi Shimbun, December 15, 1998, Tokyo local edition/Fukushima