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Yukichi Chuganji

Gerontology Research Group
Validated By: Gerontology Research Group On Date: Mar. 07th 2000

Yukichi Chuganji [中願寺 雄吉] was a Japanese supercentenarian, who was the world's oldest living person from 29 December 2002 until his death.


Yukichi Chuganji was born in his family’s farmhouse in the village of Chikushino, Fukuoka, Japan, on 23 March 1889. He graduated from a technical school in the early 1900s and worked as a silkworm breeder, instructor in the agricultural specialty, bank employee, and community welfare officer. In 1914, he married Shika Chuganji; they had four sons and one daughter. The couple would remain married for close to 60 years before Shika died in 1973.

Among his hobbies were fishing and gardening, and he continued to ride a bike until his late 90s. He stayed active and independent into his centenarian years, including walking into town alone and voting in elections as a supercentenarian until his eyesight began to fail around 2000, by which point he stopped going out and spent more time in bed. While his blindness left him unable to read the newspaper, he still kept up on current world events, expressing concerns over the US invasion of Iraq. He didn’t like to eat vegetables but liked to eat beef and pork. He only consumed alcohol in moderate amounts and drank milk every day.

His health appeared fine up until his death, and his family only noticed he wasn’t looking well after his daughter went to give him homemade apple juice. According to his nephew, he thanked them for the drink as he went to sleep, and never woke up. He died on 28 September 2003 at the age of 114 years, 189 days. He was survived by 1 of his 4 children, 7 grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren.

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He became the oldest living man after the death of the 112-year-old Antonio Todde on 3 January 2002, coincidentally the same day on which he became Japan’s oldest living person after the death of Matsuno Oikawa.

He was the third man to reach the age of 114 and was the oldest Japanese man ever for a little more than 10 years, after which his record was broken by Jiroemon Kimura. He is currently ranked the sixth-oldest man in history and was the first Japanese man to undisputedly reach ages 113 and 114.