April 23 (UPI) — The world’s oldest person, a Japanese woman named Nabi Tajima, died at the age of 117 on Saturday.
Tajima, who was born Aug. 4, 1900, died at a hospital in in Kikai, Kagoshima Prefecture, according to Kyodo News. She spent several years bedridden in a nursing home before being hospitalized some time last month.
“She passed away as if falling asleep. As she had been a hard worker, I want to tell her ‘rest well,’” Tajima’s 65-year-old grandson Hiroyuki said.
Tajima was identified as the world’s oldest person by U.S.-based Gerontology Research Group after Violet Mosse-Brown, the person who previously held the title, died at the age of 117 in Jamaica in September.
Tajima attributed her longevity to eating delicious food and getting plenty of sleep and she enjoyed hand-dancing to the music of a shamisen, a traditional Japanese musical instrument.
She also raised seven sons and two daughters and had more than 140 descendants including great-great-great-grandchildren.
Chiyo Miyako of Yokohama near Tokyo is now the world’s oldest living person, according to the Gerontology Research Group. She will turn turn 117 on May 2.
“Currently, she can eat by herself and spends every day in good health. We, as her family members, are very happy about her longevity,” Miyako’s family said.
A 112-year-old Japanese man named Masazo Nonaka was recognized as the world’s oldest living man by Guinness World Records on April 10.