Masazo Nonaka of Japan, aged 112, receives a certificate for the Guinness World Records' oldest male person living title from Guinness World Records Japan’a Erika Ogawa. Picture: AFP/Jiji Press
Masazo Nonaka of Japan, aged 112, receives a certificate for the Guinness World Records' oldest male person living title from Guinness World Records Japan’a Erika Ogawa. Picture: AFP/Jiji Press

Hot springs, sweets, sumo: The secrets of world’s oldest man

MASAZO Nonaka has enjoyed soaking in northern Japan's hot springs for many years - probably longer than most people.

The supercentenarian, whose family has run a hot springs inn for four generations, was certified Tuesday as the world's oldest living man, at age 112 years, 259 days.

Nonaka, who was born on July 25, 1905 - just months before Albert Einstein published his theory of special relativity - received a certificate from Guinness World Records at his home in Ashoro, on Japan's northern main island of Hokkaido, and celebrated the recognition with a big cake.

Nonaka grew up in a large family and succeeded his parents running the inn.

The 105-year-old inn is now run by his granddaughter Yuko.

He regularly soaks in the springs and also enjoys eating sweets, especially cakes.

Nonaka, wearing a knit cap and a kimono-style jacket, flashed a smile and posed for a group photo with his family, making a victory sign with his right hand.

Masazo Nonaka of Japan, aged 112, smiles after being awarded the Guinness World Records' oldest male person living title. Naturally he celebrated with cake. Picture: AFP/Jiji Press
Masazo Nonaka of Japan, aged 112, smiles after being awarded the Guinness World Records' oldest male person living title. Naturally he celebrated with cake. Picture: AFP/Jiji Press

He dug into the cake after it was cut and served, and said, "Delicious," according to NHK public television.

His family members say Nonaka still moves about by himself in a wheelchair. He reads a newspaper after breakfast every morning, and loves to watch sumo wrestling and samurai dramas on TV.

But his favourite pastime is to soak in the hot springs and relax.

Nonaka has outlived all seven of his siblings, as well as his wife and two of their five children.

Guinness says Nonaka replaced Francisco Olivera of Spain, who died earlier this year at age 113, as the world's oldest man.

A 117-year-old Japanese woman, Nabi Tajima, who is currently the oldest living person in Japan, is expected to be certified as the world's new oldest person, replacing Violet Moss-Brown of Jamaica, who died in September at age 117.

Japan, known for the longevity of its people, has been home to several oldest titleholders, including Jiroemon Kimura, who died in June 2013 at the age of 116.

There are around 68,000 people aged 100 or older in the country, the government said last year.


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