Have you ever imagined what it would be like to live through two millennia, three centuries, and an obscene number of decades?
For we mortals, hoping to hit the 90-year-old mark at some point, that’s something. However, there are these amazing beings who’ve crossed 100, and who sometimes go beyond 110. They comprise a rough thousandth of any centenarian set at any point in time, and there are only 300-450 alive currently, with just a handful — 70 to be precise — verified.
Meet the supercentenarians, one of the most exclusive groups ever.
A Japanese man, Jirouemon Kimura, belongs to this club. On Friday, the Guinness Book of Records reported that he smashed Thomas Thorvald Christian Mortensen’s tall tally of being the longest-lived male, when he hit the grand old age of 115 years and 253 days. Thomas triumphed on till 115 years and 252 days, back in 1998.
Kimura, of Kyôtango city, near Kyoto, was born on April 19, 1897, and is “only the third man in history to be 115 years old,” Guinness reported.
The patriarch racked up quite a brood, and boasts seven children, 14 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren, and 13 great-great-grandchildren. He still wakes up with the lark and reads newspapers with a magnifying glass. In addition, he enjoys talking to guests and follows live parliamentary debates on television. Kimura attributes his longevity to his motto: “eat light to live long.”
Kimura’s remarkable life across three centuries has spanned “immense social and technological advances, including the advent of motor vehicles, television, the Internet, six UK monarchs, five emperors of Japan and 20 U.S. presidents,” the Guinness report stated.
Kimura worked at a local post office for 38 years. He turned to farming after his retirement and continued until the age of 90.
The Guinness record organization postponed its presentation of Kimura’s certificate because he has been recently hospitalized, the Kyodo News agency stated, citing city officials.
The oldest recorded person ever to have lived is Jeanne Calment of France, who lived to an astonishing 122 years and 164 days and died in 1997.
Kimura became the oldest currently living person this month when Dina Manfredini of Iowa in the U.S. died aged 115 years and 257 days, and the oldest currently living human male when Emiliano Mercado del Toro died in January 2007.
Will he still stay active and alive for another seven years and claim the title from Calment (who took up fencing at age 85)? Only the grand old antediluvian ancient, Father Time, will tell.