stripes stripes

Tazuyo Kobayashi

Gerontology Research Group
Validated By: Gerontology Research Group On Date: Sep. 05th 2015

Tazuyo Kobayashi (Japanese: 小林たづよ) was a validated Japanese supercentenarian. At the time of death, she was the oldest living person in Hyōgo Prefecture.


Tazuyo Kobayashi was born in Japan on 25 January 1904. At some point she got married and had two daughters. Eventually, she and her husband divorced. Her second daughter died of illness, and she raised her oldest daughter alone while working as a housekeeper and living through the Bombing of Osaka during World War II.

In 1997, at the age of 93, Kobayashi lived in Toyonaka City, Osaka Prefecture. She enjoyed playing gateball, a hobby she had taken up at the age of 73. While residing in Toyonaka City, she was a member of a local team and continued to participate in tournaments at the age of 93. During this time, she practiced for three hours every day after completing her morning farm work. When asked about what she liked about the sport, she replied, “It’s straightforward. You either win or you lose.” Kobayashi’s team leader commented, “Even though she’s skilled and experienced, she never shows off. We all aspire to be like her.”

At the age of 109, she enjoyed practicing calligraphy once a week, a hobby she had taken up at the age of 90. Additionally, she enjoyed playing board games and creating origami with fellow residents at her care home. She relocated to Itami City, Hyōgo Prefecture, at some point before reaching the age of 109. In September 2013 and 2014, she received visits from the city mayor who presented her with a bouquet of flowers, a congratulatory letter, and other gifts in celebration of Respect for the Aged Day for two consecutive years. At the time of these visits, she was the oldest living person in Hyōgo Prefecture. When asked about the secret to longevity, she replied, “To work honestly, straightforwardly, and diligently.”

Kobayashi passed away in Itami, Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan, on 7 December 2015.

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On 13 November 2015, following the passing of 112-year-old Aino Matsuoka, she became the oldest living person in Hyōgo Prefecture.

Upon her passing, she was succeeded as the Prefecture’s oldest living person by Mitsue Taiji.

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* “ゲートボールでチーム勝利に貢献 –小林こづよ/大阪” – Mainichi Shimbun, 27 October 1997

* “市内最高齢者に110歳の小林さん” – Itami City Public Relations Magazine, 15 September 2014