According to Misao Okawa, the secret to long life is good food. She should know — at age 115, she was recently recognized by Guinness World Records as the world’s oldest woman.
Okawa loves mackerel sushi, meat and confections, but does not like vegetables so much. This diet has helped keep her in good health, she feels.
“Nowhere,” she said when asked where she feels any physical discomfort. “Everything I eat is very tasty.”
Okawa was born in a family that operated a kimono shop in Osaka. Her husband became wealthy producing boots.
According to her eldest son Hiroshi, 90, the family was very westernized. They regularly ate bread and drank coffee and she often made ice cream at home. Okawa’s husband died 82 years ago, when she was 33, and she singlehandedly raised their three children.
Okawa has never had a serious illness or taken medicine. But when she was 102, she fell and broke her hip at the nursing home in Osaka where she lives. Her health has ups and downs, but when she is feeling sprightly, she rolls her wheelchair along by herself.
Despite this serious injury, Okawa was determined to keep stretching and exercising, and she became able to walk again.
“She’s in incredibly fine fettle, like Jirouemon Kimura who is the world’s oldest person at the age of 115,” said Nobuyoshi Hirose, a Keio University lecturer who has researched centenarians. “This is ‘the ultimate aging.’”