Oldest man likes soaking in Japan hot springs, eating sweets

Masazou Nonaka
The Associated Press

TOKYO (AP) — Masazo Nonaka has enjoyed soaking in northern Japan’s hot springs for many years — probably longer than most people.

The supercentenarian, whose family has run a hot springs inn for four generations, was certified Tuesday as the world’s oldest living man, at age 112 years, 259 days.

Nonaka received the certificate from Guinness World Records in a ceremony at his home in Ashoro, on Japan’s northern main island of Hokkaido, and celebrated the recognition with a big cake.

Born on July 25, 1905, Nonaka grew up in a large family and succeeded his parents running the inn. The 105-year-old inn is now run by his granddaughter Yuko. He regularly soaks in the springs and also enjoys eating sweets, especially cakes.

Nonaka, wearing a knit cap and a kimono-style jacket, flashed a smile and posed for a group photo with his family, making a victory sign with his right hand.

He dug into the cake after it was cut and served, and said, “Delicious,” according to NHK public television.

His family members say Nonaka still moves about by himself in a wheelchair.

He reads a newspaper after breakfast every morning, and loves to watch sumo wrestling and samurai dramas on TV. But his favorite pastime is to soak in the hot springs and relax.

Nonaka has outlived all seven of his siblings, as well as his wife and two of their five children.

Guinness says Nonaka replaced Francisco Olivera of Spain, who died earlier this year at age 113, as the world’s oldest man.

A 117-year-old Japanese woman, Nabi Tajima, who is currently the oldest living person in Japan, is expected to be certified as the world’s new oldest person, replacing Violet Moss-Brown of Jamaica, who died in September at age 117.

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