Kane Tanaka (田中カ子, Tanaka Kane, born 2 January 1903) (née Ota) is a Japanese supercentenarian, who is the world's oldest verified living person at age 118 years, 18 days. She is the third-oldest verified person and oldest verified Japanese person ever.
Kane Tanaka, née Ota, was born on 2 January 1903 in the village of Wajiro (now part of Higashi-ku, Fukuoka), on the southern island of Kyushu, the third daughter and seventh child of her parents, Kumayoshi and Kuma Ota. Kane was born prematurely and raised on breast milk. Kane's early childhood was during the last years of the Meiji period, which ended when she was nine, in 1912. Kane married her cousin Hideo Tanaka in 1922, with whom she had two sons and two daughters. The couple also adopted a third daughter during their marriage, the second daughter of Hideo's sister. Kane's eldest daughter died shortly after birth and her second daughter died at the age of one in 1947, while her adoptive daughter died in 1945 at the age of 23 of an unspecified illness. The couple worked in a store selling shiruko and udon noodles. Kane's husband was later drafted into the military service, which lasted from 1937 to 1939; one of her sons was captured towards the end of World War II, as he also served in the military, and was held prisoner in Siberia before being released and returning home in 1947.
After World War II the couple continued working in the store, and Kane converted to Christianity, under the influence of pastors stationed by the United States military. Retiring from working at their store at 63, Kane traveled to the United States in the 1970s to visit her relatives in California and Colorado. Her husband died in 1993 at the age of 90. Kane has been living in a nursing home in Higashi-ku, Fukuoka since September 2018, and was reportedly still in good health on her 118th birthday. She occasionally plays Othello and takes short walks in the facility's hallways. Her hobbies include calligraphy, and solving arithmetic problems. She has five grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
Health and longevity
Tanaka has had several major illnesses, and was infected with paratyphoid fever with her adopted daughter at the age of 35. She underwent pancreatic cancer surgery at the age of 45. Most recently, Kane was diagnosed with colorectal cancer and underwent surgery when she was 103 years old. Her life and longevity were noted by her second son and his wife four years later when they published a book called: In Good and Bad Times, 107 Years Old. At the age of 114, she was interviewed by KBC in September 2017. Kane said she would like to live to the age of 120, crediting family, sleep, hope, eating good food, and practicing math for her longevity.