Chiyo Yanagawa was born in Japan on 28 September 1911. Before entering old age, she worked as a teacher specializing in traditional Japanese tea ceremonies and flower arrangement.
Yanagawa received special joint visits from city officials, a local welfare organization, and family members on several occasions between 2018 and 2022 to celebrate Respect for the Aged Day and her status as the oldest living person in Yao City. On each occasion, she was presented with a congratulatory letter, a bouquet of flowers, and other gifts. During a visit in 2019, when a city official remarked, “We talk about you at our senior citizen meetings,” Yanagawa elicited laughter from the room by responding, “I should charge a fee for my appearances.”
When asked about the secret to her longevity, she responded, “Eating, reading, and laughing a lot.” Reading newspapers and magazines remained a part of her daily routine at the age of 107. During this period, it was reported that she sustained her health by consuming a banana with cocoa powder and porridge every day without fail.
Yanagawa currently lives alone at her home in Yao City, Osaka Prefecture, while receiving assistance from live-in caregivers. Reportedly, she enjoys singing songs with her caregivers and listening to sumo broadcasts and singing contests on a radio placed by her pillow.
Her age was verified by Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare (MHLW), as well as Yu Li, Yumi Yamamoto, and Jack Steer, and validated by LongeviQuest on 6 December 2023.