Lifestyle & Human Interest

Oldest Living Man Takes Final Breath at Age 113, Surrounded by Family as He Died


The world’s oldest living man, Masazo Nonaka, died peacefully at home in Japan on Jan. 20 at age 113, his family reported.

According to Nonaka’s granddaughter, Yuko Nonaka, her grandfather passed away suddenly, but peacefully, at their home in Ashoro, Hokkaido.

“We feel shocked at the loss of this big figure,” Yuko Nonaka told Kyodo News. “He was as usual yesterday and passed away without causing our family any fuss at all.”

Nonaka was born July 25, 1905, the age of the Wright Brother’s first airplane flight and Albert Einstein’s newly published Theory of Relativity.

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His family has run a hot springs inn on the island of Hokkaido for four generations. Nonaka took ownership of the inn in 1925, and today, it is run by his granddaughter.

Nonaka married in 1931 and had two sons and three daughters. His wife passed away in 1992.

Nonaka lived through over 100 years of world history, including World War II when America dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He was 40 years old at the time.

After Nonaka retired from the family business, he spent his days watching sumo wrestling on TV, eating sweets and cakes and soaking in the hot springs each week.

His family credits Nonaka’s longevity to his stress-free way of living.

Guinness World Records officially recognized Nonaka as the world’s oldest living male in April 2018 at 112 years 259 days old, after the death of the previous record holder Francisco Nunez Olivera.

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Nonaka received an official Guinness World Records certificate at a small celebration at his home, three months before his 113th birthday.

According to Guinness, Nonaka said that eating sweets and soaking in the hot springs was his secret to longevity.

Nonaka lived a healthy and independent life, using a wheelchair to get around the inn in his final years.

He found contentment in simple joys, like a cozy blanket draped over his body and wearing a warm knit cap on his head.

He went to bed for the last time at the inn he’d lived at his entire life, and took his last breath sometime early in the morning.

“He didn’t have any health problem, he went peacefully and that’s at least our consolation,” Yuko Nonaka said.

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A graduate of Grand Canyon University, Kim Davis has been writing for The Western Journal since 2015, focusing on lifestyle stories.
Kim Davis began writing for The Western Journal in 2015. Her primary topics cover family, faith, and women. She has experience as a copy editor for the online publication Thoughtful Women. Kim worked as an arts administrator for The Phoenix Symphony, writing music education curriculum and leading community engagement programs throughout the region. She holds a degree in music education from Grand Canyon University with a minor in eating tacos.
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