April 1, 2015

Misao Okawa - the world's oldest woman has died in Japan at age 117

Misao Okawa, age 117, died on April 1, 2015, at a nursing home in Osaka, Japan. 
Misao Okawa

She died surrounded by family members and well-wishers. 

Misao was born on March 5, 1898. She was the daughter of a man who owned a kimono store. She had 3 sisters who are deceased. 

She married Yukio Okawa in 1919. (96 years ago).  He died in 1931 when Misao was 33 years old. She has been a widow for 84 years. 

She gave birth to two daughters and one son.  One daughter and the son are still alive as of this date. 

She went into a nursing home in 1997 when she was 99 years old. She was able to walk until she was 110 and then began to use a wheelchair. 

Misao was asked several times why she lived so long.  

On one occasion she said that eating sushi (raw fish) and sleeping were the reasons for her longevity. On another occasion she said, smiling:  "I wonder about that too." When asked about her long life, she said: "It seems short to me." 

We wonder how a person can live this long when so many people die in their 40's and 50's of heart attacks, strokes and cancer. 

The answer may lie in the traditional Japanese diet which for centuries has largely
A low fat, lower calorie Japanese meal
consisted of fresh foods, in smaller portions.  They eat steamed rice which is not fatty, (as compared to fried potatoes and creamy pastas), a lot of fish, tofu, and a lot of vegetables. 

The Japanese diet is now changing to a more westernized form which includes eating more meat. Japanese health authorities feel that this change in diet will lead to much more illness in Japan and a change away from their country's reputation for having the most long lived citizens on this planet. 

Misao Okawa has been blessed with a very long life.  She has lived 40 years longer than many of us expect to do. 

Perhaps she knew something that we don't. 

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