Gotō was born in Niigata Prefecture on 1 September 1903. Her family owned a hotel resort in Niigata, and she was the oldest of eight children.
Her family owned a hotel resort in Niigata, and she was the oldest of eight children.
At the age of 14, she relocated to the capital, Tokyo. On her 20th birthday in 1923, the Great Kanto earthquake struck the city, making her one of the oldest known survivors of the natural disaster that took over 100,000 lives in total.
Gotō and her husband had two children in total. At the age of 73, she decided to become an artist as a way to keep her mind active. She displayed many of her paintings in exhibitions and won several accolades. At the age of 96, one of her works received an encouragement award from the education minister at a Japan Modern Naive Art Society Exhibition. She eventually took a break from painting to conserve her strength but still enjoyed a variety of hobbies such as reciting traditional poetry and doing traditional Japanese calligraphy.
Gotō traveled to America at the age of 103 and for a second time at the age of 106. She continued to travel regularly, visiting her nephew’s house in Chiba Prefecture every April, going to cherry blossom viewing in Ueno Park in Tokyo’s Taito Ward, and attending the wisteria viewing festival at the Kameido Tenjinja shrine in Koto Ward. She said that the secret to her longevity was the way she eats. She chewed her first mouthful 30 times to help her stomach and intestines work properly. When she was age 111, she published a book about her life.
Shortly after her 112th birthday in September 2015, Goto caught pneumonia but managed to fully recuperate from it by November 2015. She died from another bout of pneumonia on 15 May 2017 at the age of 113 years, 256 days.
Her age has been validated by GRG Japan.