VALIDATED BY: GRG Japan
Tomiko Itooka was born in Osaka City, Osaka Prefecture, Japan on 23 May 1908 as the second (eldest daughter) of three siblings.
After graduating from elementary school, she went on to girls school (currently Osaka Jogakuin Junior and Senior High School) and belonged to the volleyball club.
After graduating from girls school, she got married around the age of 20 and gave birth to her eldest daughter at the age of 21, and she had two daughters and two sons. During the war, she replaced her husband who ran a textile factory in South Korea, and she alone protected a Japanese office and raised her children.
After her husband died in 1979, she lived alone in her husband’s hometown of Nara Prefecture for about 10 years. During that period, she frequently enjoyed climbing Mt. Nijo, which straddles Nara and Osaka prefectures. She also climbed Mt. Ontake (elevation 3000m), which straddles Nagano and Gifu prefectures, twice. The guide was surprised when she climbed the mountain because she wore ordinary sneakers instead of hiking shoes.
When she was in her 80s, she also participated in the Osaka 33 Kannon Pilgrimage (33 temple pilgrimages) twice. When she was 100 years old, she climbed the long stone steps of Ashiya Shrine without a cane and worshiped. She visited Yakushiji Temple in Nara Prefecture many times, and she liked to write sutras.
In May 2018, she celebrated her 110th birthday.
In September 2020, Itooka was listed as the third-oldest living person in Hyogo Prefecture, after Hama Yasukawa (of Takarazuka) and a 114-year-old anonymous woman (of Miki).
Following the death of a 115-year-old anonymous woman on 30 April 2022, Itooka became the oldest living person in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan. Her age was verified by Japan’s MHLW, Hiroshi Kai, Yu Li, and Yumi Yamamoto, and validated by the GRG on 21 May 2022.
Itooka currently lives in Ashiya, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan, at the age of 114 years, 213 days. She is currently the seventh-oldest known living person in the world whose age is validated by the GRG.