The oldest human being alive lives in Japan, and she celebrated her 117th birthday on March 5th 2015.

Born in 1898, Japan’s Misao Okawa is one of the oldest people to ever live and she’s also one of the five documented people born in the 1800s who are still alive today.

misao-okawa-fam-2

Okawa celebrated her birthday a day early with her family and a small group of reporters at her nursing home, where she wore a pink kimono and was presented with a bouquet of flowers as she ate cake and took photos with her family.

Okawa’s age makes her a “centenarian,” which is a person who lives beyond the age of 100 years, and Japan has over 50,000 of them — the highest of any country in the world. It’s believed that their plant-based, soy-rich diet, combined with exercise and plenty of sunshine, is the reason why their people live so long.

As for Okawa’s personal regimen, she said that she eats well, gets at least eight hours of sleep every night and knows how to relax, which is what has kept her going for nearly a dozen decades.

misao-okawa-fam-1

When asked about how she felt about being the oldest person alive and reaching 117 years, Okawa said that she was “very happy,” but “it seemed rather short.” Asked also about what she believes the secret to longevity is, she said, “I wonder about that too.”

According to nursing home staff, though Mrs. Okawa has slowed down in recent months and is having trouble hearing, she’s in good health otherwise.

“Mrs Okawa eats three large meals a day and makes sure that she sleeps eight hours a night,” Tomohito Okada, the head of the Kurenai retirement home where she lives, recently shared.

He added, “She insists that her favourite meal is sushi, particularly mackerel on vinegar-steamed rice, and she has it at least once every month.”