At 117, Nabi Tajima was older than today's Australia and everyone else living on the planet.
Tajima, born on August 4, 1900, in Araki, Japan, and recognized as the oldest person in the world, has passed on this mantle. She died Saturday after being hospitalized since January, the Associated Press reported and was the last known person born in the 19th century.
She lived in the small island town of Kikai, reported the AP  The title of "the oldest living human in the world" is a remarkable, if more fleeting. Tajima claimed the award in September when his 117-year-old colleague Violet Brown died in Jamaica. Brown was the oldest person in the world for about five months.
Tajima was in the exclusive group of supercentenarians, people who have passed the 110-year threshold. The US-based Gerontology Research Group, which observes certified persons who have become supercentenarians, reports of 36 worldwide. All but one of them are women, and 18 of them are Japanese. Good diets and supportive family structures have been associated with Japan's leading global life expectancy.
Tajima spread the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries and is one of the few people who could remember a time before the First World War. Two days after her forty-fifth birthday, the United States dropped the first of two nuclear bombs northeast of her home island.
Her inheritance is similarly expansive; She had nine children and 160 descendants, including great-great-great-grandchildren, said the Gerontology Research Group.
Tajima's secret of longevity was to "eat delicious things and sleep well," the group said. She danced with her hands at the sound of a samisen, a traditional three-stringed instrument.
Chiyo Miyako, also in Japan, became the oldest person in the world according to the group. With 116 years and 355 days she has about nine months to reach the 117th and 260th days of her compatriot.
Miyako would not have to travel far to visit her male compatriot. Japan's Masazo Nonaka, 112 years old and 271 days old, was confirmed this month by Guinness World Records as the oldest man in the world. The organization had recognized Tajima before she died, the AP reported.
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