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Kame Higa

Validated By: On Date: Jan. 16th 2003

Kame Higa (Japanese: 比嘉カメ) was a Japanese supercentenarian who was the oldest living person in Okinawa for over two years. Her age has been validated by the Gerontology Research Group (GRG) and recognised by LongeviQuest (LQ).


Higa was born in Shuri, Naha, Okinawa, on 22 June 1892. She was married aged 20 to a sake peddler, with whom she had seven children, six sons and one daughter. She undertook farm work and sold tofu to provide for her family.

During World War II, Higa evacuated to Taiwan with her children. Her husband and two of her sons died in combat. After the war’s end, she returned to Okinawa with her five remaining children, and struggled during post-war rationing.

At the age of 60, Higa opened a grocery store with her daughter, Tsuru, and worked there for the next three decades. As a supercentenarian, her family attributed her longevity to “being stubborn” – ‘gaju’ in Okinawan dialect – and “having a firm mind of her own.”

Higa developed a 40° Celsius fever aged 112, but recovered after three days. She died on 23 February 2005 at the age of 112 years, 246 days.

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Higa’s age was verified by Yasuhiko Saito and validated by the GRG on 16 January 2003.

On 30 January 2003, Higa became Okinawa’s oldest resident after the death of 110-year-old Kame Uei. Following her own death, the title passed to Shizuko Oyama, 111.

Higa was visited and interviewed by Jerry Friedman for his book, The Wisdom of the World’s Oldest People, released in 2005.

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  • The Wisdom of the World’s Oldest People, by Jerry Friedman (2005)