Nabi Tajima died yesterday at a hospital on the Japanese island of Kikaijima, according to the Associated Press.
Born Aug. 4, 1900, she passed away at the age of 117 and 280 days, meaning she was was the last known person alive who had experienced the 19th century. (1900 is the last year of that century rather than the first year of the 20th century.) Tajima lived through the introduction of technological marvels like cars, air travel, TV, space travel, computers, the Internet, and smartphones, as well as two world wars.
When Tajima was born, an isolated and feudal Japan was ruled by Emperor Meiji. Suffrage was limited; women in Japan only got the right to vote when she was around 45 years old.
Tajima had nine children, and reportedly more than 160 descendants. According to BNO News, she said that her secret to health was “eating delicious things and sleeping well.”
According to Guinness World Records, the oldest person to have ever lived was a French woman named Jeanne Louise Calment, who died at age 122. The man who lived to be the oldest died at age 113.
The oldest person alive is now another Japanese woman named Chiyo Miyako, who will turn 117 in May.