Japan’s Chitetsu Watanabe, who has been named the oldest living man by the Guinness World Records (GWR) at 112, says his secret to longevity is to “just keep smiling, never get angry”.


Watanabe, who would be turning 113 in March, received a GWR certificate on Wednesday at the nursing home in Niigata, where he lives in, confirming his status as the oldest man alive.

What’s more fascinating is that the GWR holder, while admitting he loves sweets and brown sugar in a 2019 interview, suggested the secret for longevity lies beyond diet to include mental health.

According to him, if you want to live long, then the idea is “not to get angry but keep a smile on your face.”


Born on March 5, 1907, as the oldest of eight children, Watanabe worked for a Japanese sugar firm for years and held a position with the Japanese government’s agriculture office until retirement.

GWR said he was also in the military in 1944 towards the end of World War II, and eventually had five children to his name. He is said to have been an active gardener, growing fruits and vegetables.

Watanabe is four years away from becoming the oldest man ever, a record which had been held by Japan’s Jiroemon Kimura, who was born on 1897 but  passed away aged 116 in June 2013.

While he isn’t the world’s oldest living person, what’s intriguing is that the individual holding the GWR certificate for that title is also from Japan, a woman by the name Kane Tanaka.


According to GWR, Tanaka, who was born on January 2, 1903, owned the title of the world’s oldest living person and the world’s oldest living woman in 2019.

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