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While birthdays are always a cause for celebration, Kane Tanaka's was especially so. On January 1, 2022, the Japanese supercentenarian turned 119, extending her record as the world's oldest living person for another year. Tanaka has held the Guinness World Title since turning 116 in 2019. She also garnered the all-time Japanese age record in September 2020 when she clocked an impressive 117 years and 261 days!
"Great achievement. [Kane Tanaka] reached 119 years of age," Junko Tanaka, her great-granddaughter and biggest fan, tweeted. "I hope you'll continue to live life cheerfully and to the fullest."
Though Tanaka received numerous gifts to mark her big day, the most special one came from the Coca-Cola Company. The soft drink manufacturer sent the 119-year-old two bottles of her favorite beverage — Coca-Cola — with personalized labels stating her name and age.
"Really appreciate this gift. Coca-Cola company made a commemorative birthday bottle. It seems [Kane] is still drinking Coca-Cola as usual," Junko tweeted.
Tanaka, the seventh of nine siblings, was born in 1903 — the year the Wright brothers invented the first powered flight. She was married at 19 and worked at her family's noodle store until the age of 103. The incredible woman has survived two bouts of cancer and lived through five Japanese imperial reigns, two world wars, and two global pandemics. In 2020, Tanaka was selected as one of the torchbearers for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Unfortunately, a coronavirus outbreak in Japan forced her to decline the honor at the last minute.
Now residing in a nursing home in Fukuoka, Japan, Tanaka keeps her mind and body active by solving math problems, playing a chess-like board game called Othello, and staying curious. Her goal for 2022? To live long enough to celebrate her 120th birthday — hopefully with family members, who she has been unable to see for over 18 months due to the pandemic.