Misao Okawa, World's Oldest Woman, Turns 116


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Misao Okawa, from Osaka, Japan, is believed to be the world's oldest woman, and she celebrated her 116th birthday on March 5th, 2014.

To celebrate the event, Okawa wore a pink kimono covered in cherry blossoms, along with a blue cardigan, and a red flower in her hair. A special white cake, decorated with strawberries and candles, was prepared for her special day.

Okawa, born on March 5th, 1898, credits her longevity to a healthy diet, complete with sushi, and plenty of sleep. "Eat and sleep and you will live a long time. You have to learn to relax," she explained to The Telegraph.

Misao has lived in the Kurenai retirement home for the last 18 years. Tomohito Okada, the head of the home, says that Misao maintains a healthy diet and gets at least eight hours of sleep per night. “Mrs Okawa eats three large meals a day and makes sure that she sleeps eight hours a night,” said Tomohito. “She insists that her favourite meal is sushi, particularly mackerel on vinegar-steamed rice, and she has it at least once every month." Misao became the oldest living person after the death of 116-year-old Jireomon Kimura in 2013.

Reporters got a chance to talk to Misao, and asked her what the happiest moments of her life were. She explained that her marriage to her late husband and the birth of her three children were the highlights of her life. She said the saddest moment was the death of her husband in 1931.

Okada explained the preparations for Misao's party, revealing that they would not be using 116 candles because that would be dangerous. Rather, they used three candles for each number of her age. “We will be having a cake, of course,” said Okada. “But we will only be having three candles, one for each figure of her 116 years, because that many candles could be dangerous.”

Misao has two surviving children, who have clearly inherited her genes, that are now 94 and 92. She also has four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Image via Guinessworldrecords.com