Japanese man recognized as oldest male in recorded history

KYOTANGO, JAPAN (BNO NEWS) -- A Japanese man was Thursday recognized by Guinness World Records as the world's oldest verified male in recorded history, surpassing a Danish-American man who set the previous record when he died in 1998. The new record-holder is also the world's oldest living person.

Jiroemon Kimura was born on April 19, 1897, when Emperor Meiji ruled Japan as the country rose from a feudal shogunate to become a world power. This made him 115 years and 253 days old on Thursday, one day older than Christian Mortensen when he died in California at the age of 115 years and 252 days in April 1998.

Earlier named the oldest living man, Kimura was first recognized as the world's oldest living person on December 17 after Italian woman Dina Manfredini died in Iowa at the age of 115 years and 257 days. The Japanese man is only the third man in recorded history to reach the age of 115.

"The record for oldest living man lies at the very heart of Guinness World Records, and to be able to present Mr Kimura his third Guinness World Records title is truly an honor," said Guinness World Records Editor-in-Chief Craig Glenday. "Kimura-san is an exceptional person; we know of only four other male supercentenarians alive today."

Kimura worked at a post office from 1914 until he retired at the age of 65, but he continued to engage in agriculture until he was 90 years old. His life, which spans three centuries, saw immense social and technological advances which include the advent of motor vehicles, television, and the internet. It also saw six UK Monarchs, five Emperors of Japan and 20 U.S. presidents.

The Japanese supercentenarian now lives in Kyōtango, a city in Kyoto Prefecture, and has 14 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren and 13 great, great grandchildren. His personal motto is "eat light to live long" and he believes the key to his longevity is to be a healthy but small eater.

The oldest undisputed person ever from Japan was Tane Ikai who died in July 1984 at the age of 116 years and 175 days, according to Guinness World Records. The oldest undisputed person to have ever lived in the world was Jeanne Calment who died in France in 1997 at the age of 122 years and 164 days.

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