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Chōki Miyagi

Gerontology Research Group
Validated By: Gerontology Research Group On Date: Dec. 24th 2015

Chōki Miyagi (宮城朝輝) was a Japanese supercentenarian whose age is validated by the Gerontology Research Group and recognized by LongeviQuest.

Biography

Chōki Miyagi was born in Naha City, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan on November 15, 1904. Before World War II, Miyagi made a living working as chief brewer at a brewery run by a relative that made awamori, a strong Okinawan liquor. He continued to work at several awamori breweries after the war, and would reportedly walk while pulling a trailer filled with sake barrels over 10 kilometers to Nanjō City before taking them north to the Amami Islands to sell them. Despite spending a significant portion of his life working at breweries, he did not drink alcohol due to his constitution “not being suited to it.” Miyagi lost his eldest son during the war. When it ended, he traveled south to Itoman City every year to pay his respects on Okinawa Memorial Day.

At some point, he moved into a nursing home for the elderly.

Miyagi was well-known for his unique birthday parties. When he turned 105 in 2009, he reportedly rented out the entire Okinawa City monorail.

Miyagi’s 106th birthday was held at the Shikinaen Royal Gardens, a World Heritage Site. He gave a performance on the sanshin, a traditional Okinawan three-stringed instrument, for the guests, among whom were his children, grandchildren, and fellow care home residents. Miyagi enjoyed making people laugh, and he joked that his next birthday party would be held at Okinawa’s Shuri Castle. He was the oldest man in Naha City at this time.

His 108th birthday party was celebrated at an event with a total of 108 of his family and friends present—one for each year of his age. This was arranged by care home staff after he told them he wanted to hold his next birthday party for 100 people. The event was held at a hall in the town below Shuri Castle, a location Miyagi chose himself because he wanted to celebrate his birthday in the same place as his mother celebrated her kajimaya (97th birthday). Appearing in traditional formal Japanese attire, he once again took to the stage to give a singing sanshin performance of his favorite songs for those present to rapturous rounds of applause. He reportedly blew out the candles on his cake with great vigor. As well as being the oldest man in Naha City, he was the second oldest man in Okinawa Prefecture at this time.

For his 110th birthday, he was designated as chief of police at Naha Police Station for a day. By this time, he was the oldest living person in Okinawa Prefecture.

When Miyagi was no longer able to visit Itoman City to pay his respects to his deceased son on Okinawa Memorial Day due to old age, he locked himself in his room all day at his nursing home.

A member of the care home staff whom he had known for 25 years said of Miyagi “He was mischievous, never said a bad word about anyone, and was loved by those around him.” He enjoyed singing, dancing, and wearing aftershave.

Chōki Miyagi passed away at his nursing home in Naha City, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan on August 7, 2016 at the age of 111 years, 266 days. According to his daughter, he was laughing and joking with nurses just 15 minutes before his passing.

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Recognition

His age was validated by the Gerontology Research Group on 24 December 2015, and was later recognized by LongeviQuest.

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Attribution

*”県内最高齢の111歳 宮城朝輝さん死去” Okinawa Times, August 8, 2016