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The Man Who Lived in Three Centuries

Updated on April 20, 2013
Here he is (left) receiving an award
Here he is (left) receiving an award

His name is Jiroemon Kimura, a Japanese man who just turned 116 years old! He is not only the oldest person on earth but he is the last person to have lived in three centuries - the 18th, 19th, and 20th. But he is not alone, Misao Okawa, another Japanese, this time a woman, is 115.

Born in 1897, imagine the history he has seen, the gamut of modern life from the electric light to smart phones and everything inbetween.

During his adult working life for 65 years, he was a postman. After that, he continued active by being a farmer until age 90. He has 14 grand children and dozens of great-great-great grand children.His wife, Yae, died 34 years ago at the age of 74. Four of Kimura’s five siblings lived to be more than 90 years old, and his youngest brother, Tetsuo, died at 100.

This beckons the question, is there REALLY a family bond there? Or, is it so distant in time that whatever relationship there is, it is really out of respect and nothing more. Do his 20+ great grandchildren and great great grandkids even know him? Do they really care? Their lives are vastly different, I wonder is there is really anything to talk about. So, is the value of living so long really valuable? What does one do at this age on a daily basis, just wait to die? Someone this age is nearly as helpless as a baby. His great grandson takes care of him.

When asked what he does daily, he stated that he mostly stays in bed. Everyone seems to relish the idea of living well over 100, but should we? Maybe its very lonely not being able to do much physically. There are only 12 others 110 or more.

He lives in a two-story wooden house he built in the 1960s and wakes up every day at 7:30 a.m. and takes his wheelchair to a dining room for breakfast consisting of porridge and miso soup with potatoes and vegetables.

Maybe that is the secret- be positive and eat veggies 75% of the time.

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