August 18, 2007 by

Yone Minagawa

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Categories: Extraordinary People

Yone Minagawa, the oldest person in the world, died on Aug. 13. Cause of death was not released. She was 114.
Born in Japan on Jan. 4, 1893, Minagawa married and bore five children. Widowed at an early age, she single-handedly raised her daughter and four sons by growing and selling flowers and vegetables.
Minagawa lived through four Japanese emperors and at least six wars. She was already in her 50s when Hiroshima and Nagasaki were attacked with atomic bombs in 1945. Over the next half century, Minagawa watched her country literally rise from the ashes of destruction and develop into an economic and technological superpower.
Minagawa lived on her own until 2005 when she moved into a nursing home in the southwestern Japanese city of Fukuoka. Although she spent most of her days in bed resting, Minagawa occasionally ventured into the dining room on a motorized wheelchair and rarely missed the home’s weekly sing-along. She also enjoyed playing shamisen, a three-stringed musical instrument, and had a fondness for Japanese cakes filled with sweet bean paste.
The supercentenarian was named the world’s oldest person by Guinness World Records in January following the death of Emma Faust Tillman, also 114. Minagawa credited her longevity to eating well and getting a good night’s sleep. She is survived by her daughter, seven grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.
With Minagawa’s death, American Edna Parker, 114, is now the oldest person on the planet.
Watch a Video About Minagawa

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