Today Jiroemon Kiruma has set a world record. At 115 years 253 days he has become the oldest living man in history. The record was previously held by Christian Mortensen who lived to 115 years 252 days.
Among supercentenarians being a male is particularly rare. The oldest living person in history was a woman named Jeanne Calment who lived to be 122. Currently there are 64 supercentenarians in the world (those 110 years and old) and only 4 of them are males.
Kiruma is also the oldest living person in the world, a record he achieved when Dina Mafredini of Iowa passed away ten days ago.
Kiruma has a strong will to live per family members, though presently he is in a hospital suffering from an illness of 10 days duration. His condition is noted to be improving. “His condition has improved, and we’re not worried, but the doctors said it would be best if he stayed in the hospital into the new year,” said Yasuhiro Kawato a hospital spokesperson.
Kimura lives with his grandson’s widow Eiko Kimura, and continues to eat three small meals per day, a strategy he has maintained for life. He is conversant and generally cheerful though now spends most of his time in bed. He has also escaped disease.
“Grandpa is positive and optimistic,” said Eiko Kimura. “He becomes cheerful when he has guests. He’s well with a good appetite. Even when he falls ill, I can tell he’ll recover.”
In additional to lifestyle choices and positive attitude, Kimura also has genes on his side. Four of his five siblings lived past 90, one of them dying at age 100.
“He has an amazingly strong will to live,” Kimura’s nephew Tamotsu Miyake, 80, said in an interview. “He is strongly confident that he lives right and well.”