World’s Oldest Man Dies: Japan’s Yasutaro Koide Was 112 Years Old

Yasutaro Koide, the title holder of the world’s oldest man, has died at the age of 112, BBC News reports.

A resident of the Japanese city of Nagoya, Yasutaro Koide was born on March 13, 1903, in Japan’s Fukui prefecture, located northwest of Tokyo. Koide received the title of the world’s oldest man after his predecessor to the title, Sakari Momoi, passed away in July 2015. Momoi was born on February 3, 1903, barely a month before the birth of Yasutaro Koide. Koide did, however, go on to live longer than Sakari Momoi.

Yasutaro received the title of the world’s oldest man from Guinness World Records last year. The world’s oldest man died just two months short of what would have been his 113th birthday. His death was confirmed by officials from the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, who said he died at a hospital in Nagoya, central Japan, where he had been treated for heart problems.

The immediate cause of Koide’s (pronounced “Ko-ee-deh”) death was unknown. However, he was suffering from chronic heart problems.

In earlier interviews, he shared his secret for his long life and said, “The best thing to do is avoid overwork and live with joy.”

The death of the world’s oldest man is also being discussed on social media.

To put things into perspective, Yasutaro was born the same year the Wright Brothers made their historic flight in Kitty Hawk, California. He lived to see the jet age and the internet age. He was alive during both the World Wars and was there to see Japan materialize into a developed nation, especially after the destruction it faced post the Second World war. At the time of his birth, Japan was also embroiled in a conflict with Russia over the disputed territory of Manchuria. The Titanic was still on the drawing boards and would sink on its maiden journey almost a decade later. Yasutaro worked as a tailor most of his life.

Following the death of the current title holder of the world’s oldest man, it is unclear who the next holder of the title would be. Initial reports say that another Japanese man, 111-year-old Masamitsu Yoshida, might just earn the title. According to Japanese media reports, Masamitsu Yoshida is currently 111-years-old and was reportedly born on May 30, 1904. We would, however, await confirmation regarding the same from the Guinness World Record authorities.

According to data from japan’s family registration records, Masamitsu Yoshida would be among the 61,000 centenarians that live in Japan as of today. The country is known to be a rapidly aging society with a low birthrate. Several analysts have said the low birth rate could end up in a crisis for the country as a large percentage of the population becomes dependent on a relatively lower percentage of young working class people. Ninety percent of the centenarians living in Japan happen to be women.

While the world’s oldest man was 112-years-old at the time of his death, the current record holder for the world’s oldest woman is held by American Susannah Mushatt Jones. Jones is 116-years-old as of today and was born on July 6, 1899, according to the Guinness World Records website. Susannah is also one of the few persons who has managed to live across three centuries.

[Photo by Koji Sasahara/AP]

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