Yukichi Chuganji

Japanese supercentenarian

Yukichi Chuganji (中願寺 雄吉; Chūganji Yūkichi, 23 March 1889 – 28 September 2003) was a Japanese supercentenarian who at the time of his death at age 114 years, 27 weeks was the 4th oldest Japanese person ever as well as the oldest person ever from the island of Kyushu, and the world's oldest living person. However, he was only verified as the oldest living man, as the oldest living person was believed to be Kamato Hongo, also from Kyushu, who claimed to be almost one and a half-year older but is nowadays debunked as evidence suggests she was most likely at least four years younger than she claimed.

BiographyEdit

Chuganji, born in Fukuoka Prefecture on 23 March 1889, graduated from a technical school in the early 1900s and worked as a silkworm breeder, instructor in the agricultural specialty, as a bank employee, and community welfare officer. He had 4 sons and one daughter, who was 74 years old at the time of his death and his only living child, 7 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. He did not like to eat vegetables but liked beef, pork and chicken, and daily ate toffee and drank a glass of milk and the occasional apple juice and only drank alcohol in moderation, which he believed as the secrets to a long life. During the last years of his life, he had failing eye sight and was bedridden.

Chuganji, who was the 6th Japanese man to become a supercentenarian, became the oldest living Japanese man after Sadayoshi Tanabe's death on 18 January 2000 and over a year later, on his 112th birthday, even the third Japanese man to become at least 112 years old as well as the oldest Japanese man ever after surpassing both Gengan Tonaki and Denzo Ishizaki, the oldest living man in the world after Italian World War I-veteran Antonio Todde's death on 3 January 2002 and at the same time Japan's oldest living person after Matsuno Oikawa's death, and finally also the oldest living person in the world - and the first man who became the oldest living person after James M. King's death in June 1967 - after the American woman Mae Harrington's death on 29 December 2002. Just 12 weeks later, on 23 March 2003, Chuganji became the first Japanese man, and only the second man in the world after 115-year-old Christian Mortensen who died almost 5 years earlier, to become at least 114 years old (although the claimed 120-year-old Shigechiyo Izumi was still believed to have been older, and Denzo Ishizaki who died a year after Christian Mortensen at age 112 years, 191 days claimed to have been two years older, asserting that his birth register which showed a birth year of 1886 rather than 1884 was "delayed by two years").

DeathEdit

On the evening of Sunday 28 September 2003, after being served a glass of apple juice by his daughter, Chuganji died of natural causes at age 114 years, 27 weeks[1] and was the oldest Japanese man ever, though until 25 October 2011 when his record was broken by Jiroemon Kimura who was the second Japanese man to become 114 years old as well as the only man who has become at least 116 years old, and (after 111-year-old Norio Kawada's death on 6 June 2003) the only living Japanese male supercentenarian. The first Japanese man who became a supercentenarian after Chuganji's death was Kohachi Shigetaka (10 May 1895 – 3 July 2005); both Kameni Nakamura and Minsho Ozawa, who were the oldest living Japanese men after Chuganji's death and both born in October 1894 and died in 2004, as well as Totaro Murakami who died just 18 days after Ozawa, died before their 110th birthdays.

Chuganji was succeeded as the oldest living person by Mitoyo Kawate of Hiroshima and as the oldest living man by Spaniard Joan Riudavets.

ReferencesEdit