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Kazuko Minami

Yumi Yamamoto
Validated By: Yumi Yamamoto On Date: Jan. 10th 2024

Kazuko Minami (Japanese: 南 和子) was a Japanese supercentenarian whose age has been validated by LongeviQuest. At the time of death, she was the oldest living person in Kōchi Prefecture.


Kazuko Minami was born in Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan, on 24 November 1913. Following her graduation from the former Osaka Pharmaceutical University (now Osaka Medical University), she pursued a career as a pharmacist. During her student days, she aspired to become an English interpreter. However, influenced by her mother’s advice, which emphasized the importance of pursuing a profession that could be easily balanced with her role as a housewife, she chose to pursue studies in pharmacy.

At some point in her life she married a doctor, and simultaneously pursued a career while balancing the roles of a pharmacist and a housewife. While raising her children, she would rise at 5 a.m. to attend to household chores. At the hospital, where she worked as a pharmacist, she not only compounded medicines but also prepared meals for patients. Despite battling sleepiness, she would teach her children’s studies at night, going to bed around midnight.

In 1955, she played a key role in founding the Kansai Women’s Pharmacists Association, marking her as the nation’s first female pharmacist and earning her the position of the first president. Furthermore, she held the position of president in the Kōchi Prefecture Women Pharmacists Association and served as vice president of the Kōchi Prefecture Pharmacists Association. She contributed significantly to the advancement of medicine and the enhancement of the status and abilities of women pharmacists. In her seventies, she assumed the role of president at the Soroptimist International Kōchi Club.

In the fall of 1992, she received the Fifth Class Crown of Honor (勲五等宝冠章) from the Cabinet Office in recognition of her contributions to pharmaceutical affairs. In her later years, she assumed the role of chairwoman at a nursing home in Kōchi City.

Minami passed away in Kōchi City, Kōchi Prefecture, Japan, on 23 December 2023, at the age of 110 years, 29 days.

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In December 2022, following the passing of 109-year-old Chiyoko Kagiyama of Nankoku, she became the oldest living person in Kōchi Prefecture.

Her age was verified by Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare (MHLW), as well as Yumi Yamamoto, and validated by LongeviQuest on 10 January 2024.

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* “情熱ある限り青春(勲五等宝冠章)・南和子さん(78)元県薬剤師会副会長” – Kōchi Shimbun Morning Edition, 3 November 1992

* “訃報 県内最高齢の110歳 南和子さん死去 高知市” – Kōchi Shimbun Morning Edition, 27 December 2023