World’s oldest man says never getting angry and keeping a smile on your face is the secret to long life as he celebrates his achievement aged 112 years and 344 days
- Chitetsu Watanabe says he still has a sweet tooth despite losing all his teeth
- Guinness World Records presented him with a certificate in Niigata today
- The previous oldest man alive was also Japanese but died last month aged 113
A retired Japanese farmer was named the world’s oldest man today at 112 years and 344 days – and said the secret to a long life is ‘not to get angry and keep a smile on your face.’
Grinning Chitetsu Watanabe was given a certificate by Guinness World Records at his care home in Niigata, the city in northern Japan where he was born in 1907.
The father-of-five, who used to work on a sugar cane plantation, says he’s still got a sweet tooth despite losing all his teeth and loves custard pudding and cream puffs because they don’t need to be chewed.
Grinning Chitetsu Watanabe said the secret to a long life is ‘not to get angry and keep a smile on your face’
He says he’s still got a sweet tooth despite losing all his teeth and loves custard pudding
The previous oldest living man was Masazo Nonaka, also Japanese, who died last month aged 113. He was four years younger than the world’s oldest living person, Kane Tanaka, a 117-year-old Japanese woman.
Mr Watanabe’s daughter-in-law – wife of his eldest son Tetsuo, said: ‘I’ve never seen him raise his voice or get mad. He’s also caring.
‘I think having lived with a big family under one roof, mingling with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren helped keep a smile on his face as well.’
Until about a decade ago, Mr Watanabe used to grow bonsai trees and had a collection of about 100 which he used to exhibit.
After graduating from agricultural school he moved to Taiwan and worked on sugar cane plantation contracts and lived there for 18 years with his wife Mitsue and their children.
He served in the military towards the end of World War II and then returned to Niigata where he worked in a government office until retirement.
He also grew fruit and vegetables on the family farm.
In 1974, he and his son Tetsuo built a new family home with a hectare of farmland where they grew potatoes, tomatoes, strawberries and plums.
He kept this going until he was 104.
The record for the oldest man ever was held by Jiroemon Kimura, of Japan, who was born in April 1897 and passed away aged 116 years 54 days in June, 2013.
The world’s previous oldest living man Masazo Nonaka died last month aged 113. He is pictured here last year age 112 years and 259 days during a ceremony in Ashoro on Japan’s northern main island of Hokkaido