Misao Ohkawa, a Japanese woman believed
to be the world's oldest person, has turned 116 and
celebrated by tucking into a white cake decorated with
strawberries and candles.
She credits a healthy appetite and getting plenty of rest for
Ohkawa was born in 1898 - the year that the United States
annexed the Hawaiian islands, a new drink named Pepsi-Cola
was launched and the USS Maine exploded in Havana harbour.
Accepting bouquet from well-wishers at a small party in the
nursing home where she lives in the western city of Osaka,
Ohkawa sat by the cake, decorated with "116" in candles, and
later pronounced it "delicious."
She wore a pink kimono patterned with cherry blossoms and a
blue cardigan for the event. Asked if she was happy to have
lived so long, she replied, according to the Asahi
Shimbun daily: "Kind of."
Born the daughter of a fabric merchant in Osaka in 1898, on
the same day as Chinese revolutionary leader Zhou Enlai,
Ohkawa married in 1919. Two of her three children are still
alive, both of them in their 90s.
She is known for her strong appetite and one of her favourite
foods is sashimi, or raw fish. In the past six months she has
gained 4 kg (8.8 lbs), Japanese media said.
Ohkawa has been dubbed the world's oldest living person since
the June 2013 death of 116-year-old Jiroemon Kimura, also
Japanese. She is the tenth person verified to have reached
116 and the third oldest Japanese person ever.
Japan is one of the world's most long-lived nations, with
nearly 54,400 centenarians as of September 2013, according to
the health ministry.