The world’s oldest living man has died at his home in northern Japan at the age of 113.
Masazo Nonaka died peacefully from natural causes at his family’s hot springs in Ashoro early Sunday morning, his granddaughter told local media.
His death comes less than a year after he was certified by Guinness World Records in April 2018 as the world’s oldest living man. This honor followed the death of the previous record holder in Spain that January.
“We feel shocked at the loss of this big figure,” Nonaka’s granddaughter, Yuko, told Kyodo News. “He was as usual yesterday and passed away without causing our family any fuss at all.”
Nonaka was born on July 25, 1905, and in his youth worked as a farmer and a lumberjack before running his family’s hot springs inn, according to earlier reports.
In the end, he outlived his wife, seven of his siblings and three of his five children, The Associated Press reported.
He credited sweets and soaking in the hot springs for his impressive longevity ― though Yuko, who now runs the family’s inn, has said that it was more likely him living stress-free.
If he didn’t want something, she told Guinness World Records officials last year, he made sure that everyone knew about it.
The world’s oldest living person is also Japanese. Kane Tanaka is a 116-year-old woman who lives on Japan’s southern main island of Kyushu, according to the AP. The oldest man ever was Jiroemon Kimura, also of Japan, who lived to be 116 years and 54 days, according to Guinness World Records.
The world’s oldest person whose age was authenticated by Guinness World Records was Jeanne Louise Calment of France, who lived 122 years and 164 days. Like Nonaka, Calment was known for having a sweet tooth, though she also smoked cigarettes up until the age of 117, according to the record-keeping website.
A recent paper suggests that Calment’s daughter had assumed her identity in 1934 and therefore the woman who died in 1997 was 99 years old. However, a researcher who helped verify Calment’s age says the theory is “incredibly shaky and rests on nothing.”