Umeko Shimizu was born into a farming family in Hokuto City, Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan, on 30 March 1913. At some point, she married her cousin, and the couple had eight children. Her family described her as a diligent worker. While raising her children, she would wake up early to cook rice on the hearth, tend to the rice and vegetable fields during the day, and in the evenings, she would prepare dinner by kneading flour into noodles known as “hoto”. She raised silkworms to extract threads from cocoons and wove these threads to create kimonos for herself and winter clothing for her family.
In her 50s and after, she would occasionally travel with her grown children. Even as she approached the age of 100, her daily routine continued to involve work in the fields, where she maintained her approximately 330-square-meter plot. In 2017, she moved into a nursing home. When asked about the secret to her longevity, she attributed it to being carefree and enjoying her life.
Shimizu passed away in Hokuto City, Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan, on 6 May 2023, at the age of 110 years, 37 days.
Her age was verified by Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare (MHLW), as well as Yu Li, Yumi Yamamoto, and Ryohei Asano, and validated by LongeviQuest on 26 October 2023.
* “農業と家族に尽くす 清水うめ子さん（北杜）「長寿のんきに楽しむ」” – Yamanashi Nichinichi Shimbun, 16 December 2019
* Yamanashi Nichinichi Shimbun, 9 May 2023