Posted on Feb 13, 2020, 2 p.m.
According to Guinness World Records a Japanese man with a sweet tooth who believes in the power of smiling has become the world’s oldest man alive, the longevity warrior is approaching his 113th birthday.
Chitetsu Watanabe is 112 years young, he was born in Niigata in northern Japan on March 5, 1907. He was recently awarded a certificate for his accomplishment at a nursing home in the city on February 12, 2020 at the age of 112 years and 344 days old.
Until 2007 when Watanabe was sent to a nursing home, he enjoyed doing the traditional art of bonsai, and even had his small sculpted trees exhibited. However, these days he is enjoying desserts that don’t need a lot of chewing such as custard puddings since he has lost teeth.
He graduated from agricultural school and moved to Taiwan to work on sugar cane plantation contracts at Dai-Nippon Meiji Sugar. Watanabe married Mitsue and they have 5 children, and they lived in Taiwan for 18 years.
After serving in the military towards the end of the Pacific War in 1944, the longevity warrior returned to his home town of Niigata in Northern Japan with his wife and oldest son and worked for the prefectural government up until he retired.
Retiring did not stop him from being active, in 1974 he and his son built a new family home and Watanabe also enjoyed growing fruits and vegetables on his family’s farm until he was 104.
This supercentenarian loves sweet things, particularly brown sugar. When he was asked about any secrets that he had to his long life. Watanabe grinned and offered this advice: Try not to get angry and keep a smile on your face.
Watanabe now resides in a nursing home, and is not as active as he once was. Up until the summer of 2019 his daily activities included origami, calligraphy, and math exercises, along with rehabilitation exercises.
Chitetsu Watanabe is only 4 years away from the record for the oldest man ever which was held by Jiroemon Kimura who was born on April 19, 1897 in Japan and passed away on June 12, 2013 at the age of 116 years and 54 days.
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