World’s Oldest Man: Japanese Lumberjack Masazo Nonaka, 112, Takes Title After Previous Record-Holder Dies

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The world’s oldest man is now a Japanese lumberjack who was born during the Theodore Roosevelt administration, having taken the title from a 113-year-old Spaniard who died earlier this year, Reuters is reporting.

Masazo Nonaka, 112, was born on July 25, 1905. According to The Guinness Book Of World Records, that makes him the oldest living man in the world. It is, of course, possible that there is an older living man somewhere in the world, but his date of birth can’t be confirmed due to lack of reliable records.

At a ceremony in Nonaka’s home town of Ashoro, on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, about 560 miles north of Tokyo, the super-centenarian (that’s what’s you call people who exceed 110 years of age) was honored by his community.

His granddaughter, Yuko Nonaka, says that Mr. Nonaka gets around pretty well considering his age, according to the Telegraph.

“He needs a wheelchair to move but he is in good condition.”

Born just after the turn of the century – the 20th century – Nonaka started life as a farmer, then worked as a lumberjack, then managed a hot springs spa that his family owned. The spa remains in his family, and to this day he enjoys frequent baths in the warm waters.

In fact, Ms. Nonaka credits those warm baths as at least part of the reason for her grandfather’s long life. She also credits his stress-free lifestyle and delicious sweets, both Japanese and Western — his favorite being strawberry sponge cake.

In fact, Japanese people often tend to reach the record books for old age. Part of that credit goes to thorough record-keeping, of course. But researchers also credit the Japanese diet, their penchant for physical exercise, a strong publicly-funded healthcare system, and a reliance on community, for the Japanese tendency to reach exceptionally old age.

In fact, Jiroemon Kimura, who died in June 2013 at the age of 116, still holds the record for the longest life ever lived by a human being.

In case you were wondering, Mr. Nonaka has lived through four Japanese emperors, 20 U.S. presidents, 10 Popes, five British monarchs, two world wars, and two instances of the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series.