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Misao Okawa: Words of wisdom from our planet's oldest inhabitant

NBC News
NBC NewsOur world's oldest woman Misao Okawa celebrated her 116th birthday Wednesday at a nursing home in Osaka, western Japan.

Misao Okawa has lived a very long time. The Japanese super-centenarian is 116 years (and one day) old and holds title as our world's oldest living human, recently passing another Japanese person, Jiroemon Kimura, who died at the same age of 116 in June of last year.

According to the Inquisitr on March 6, Okawa, who celebrated her 116th birthday yesterday, has been widowed since 1931. Despite being without her husband for over 80 years, Okawa says her secret to long life is a very simple formula:

“Eat and sleep and you will live a long time. You have to learn to relax,” she said.

Tomohito Okada, the head of the Kurenai retirement home where Okawa lives, said: “Mrs Okawa eats three large meals a day and makes sure that she sleeps eight hours a night. She insists that her favorite meal is sushi, particularly mackerel on vinegar-steamed rice, and she has it at least once every month.”

Okawa was born in 1898, the year the Spanish American War started, a new drink called Pepsi-Cola was introduced and the first recorded auto accident happened when a chap from England drove his electric car into a tree.

Experts say it is no coincidence that age record-holders are from Japan, which is home to 54,397 centenarians (individuals that are at least 100 years of age), including 282 super-centenarians, (at least 110 years old).

According to UK’s Telegraph, “experts put Japanese longevity down to the nation’s comprehensive healthcare system, the support of the community, encouragement to remain physically active until they are quite elderly, a sense of being part of a family and a healthy diet that has traditionally been heavy in fish, rice, vegetables and fruit.”

The average life span for a Japanese woman is now 85.9 years (79.6 for men). The average life span for a woman living in the U.S. is 82.2 and 77.4 for men.