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Haru Shimazu

Gerontology Research Group
Validated By: Gerontology Research Group On Date: Oct. 06th 2005

Haru Shimazu [Japanese: 嶋津 はる] was a Japanese supercentenarian who was the longevity recordholder of Kanagawa Prefecture (by residence) from 2003 to 2010. Her age has been validated by the Gerontology Research Group (GRG) and recognised by LongeviQuest (LQ).


Shimazu was born in Nirasaki, Yamanashi Prefecture, on 7 July 1892. Her father was a teacher. She was married at 19 years old, and later had six children. In her spare time, she volunteered in her community as a sewing tutor.

Between the ages of 78 and 106, Shimazu lived with her son. After falling and breaking her hip, she moved into a nursing home in Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture. At the age of 108, following a visit by Yokohama’s mayor, she was reported to be in good health and could still support herself.

In September 2003, aged 111, Shimazu was reported as the 11th-oldest living person in Japan. She followed a strict daily routine, waking at 5 o’clock in the morning to clean and sew. One of her hobbies was writing; she was a member of a local calligraphy club.

Shimazu died on 14 December 2004 at the age of 112 years, 160 days. She was the fifth-oldest person in Japan, and was survived by all six of her children.

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Shimazu became Kanagawa’s oldest resident aged 108, following the death of 109-year-old Masa Sugita between January and March 2001. Upon her own death, Shige Sakai, then aged 108, became the oldest living person in the prefecture.

After surpassing the age of Sadayoshi Tanabe in October 2003, Shimazu became the oldest person ever to reside in Kanagawa. She later became the first person living in the prefecture to reach the age of 112. Her record would be broken by Koto Okubo (1897 – 2013) in mid-2010.

Shimazu’s age was verified by Ken Matsuoka and Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare (MHLW), and was posthumously validated by the GRG on 6 October 2005.

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  • “各地で長寿祝う 県の65歳以上112万人 敬老の日/神奈川” Asahi Shimbun September 16, 2000 Tokyo local edition/Kanagawa

  • “嶋津はるさん死去 県内最高齢112歳 横浜・泉区” Asahi Shimbun December 15, 2004 Tokyo local edition/Kanagawa

  • Earth’s Elders: The Wisdom of the World’s Oldest People, by Jerry Friedman