How the world changed during 116-year-old Kimura’s lifetime

6 years ago by in Japan Tagged:

The oldest person in the world, Jiroemon Kimura, is 116 years old and is the last person alive who was born in the 19th century. During his lifetime, one can say Mr. Kimura has seen it all, with the whole world changing around him over the last century. These are some of the greatest changes he assisted to:

In 1897, when Mr. Kimura was born, the world was saying goodbye to Johannes Brahms, the classical composer well known for his concertos and sonatas.

In Mr. Kimura’s toddler years, Her Royal Highness Queen Victoria had died at the then-extremely-old age of 81. The first Nobel Prizes were also handed out during that period, in 1901.

At the age of seven, Mr. Kimura was far too young to enlist when the Russo-Japanese War broke out. In the mean time, a wild-haired scientist was changing the world with his theory of relativity.

At the age of 15, Mr. Kimura could hear about the death of Emperor Meiji, the emperor who over saw the transition of Japan from feudalism into an opened society with a diet (parliament) that would later allow the country to be driven by an elected government.

When Mr. Kimura turned 23, in 1920, the AM radio was invented and also Charlie Chaplin’s film “The Gold Rush” was getting a lot of buzz, according to the local press.

Eight years later, in 1928, penicillin was invented, while in 1929 Mr. Kimura might have heard about the Stock Market Crash at Wall Street, not knowing the current boom in Japan was about to follow a similar fate and that Japan would go into a war against the USA.

And by the time the first atomic bombs were used in the field over Hiroshima and Nagasaki Mr. Kimura was already a mature 48-year-old.

Later, he would enjoy the invention of the television, microwave ovens, Xerox machines, digital watches, computers, fax machines, the internet, mobile phones and smartphones.