By Aasma Day
The world’s oldest man has died at his home in northern Japan at the age of 113 less than a year after claiming the title.
Masazo Nonaka died in the early hours of Sunday while sleeping at his home, a hot springs inn, in Ashoro on Japan’s northern main island of Hokkaido.
The family said he died peacefully from natural causes.
The supercentenarian, whose family has run a hot springs inn for four generations, was certified last year as the world’s oldest living man at 112 years and 259 days by Guiness World Records.
Born on July 25 1905 – just months before Albert Einstein published his special theory of relativity – Nonaka grew up in a large family and followed his parents in running the inn, which is now run by his granddaughter, Yuko.
She said her grandfather appeared to be as usual until her elder sister noticed he was not breathing. He was pronounced dead by his family doctor.
“He didn’t have any health problem. He went peacefully and that’s at least our consolation,” she said.
Nonaka, who enjoyed eating sweets, used to regularly soak in the spring and would move about in the inn in a wheelchair wearing his trademark knitted cap.
He outlived all seven of his siblings, as well as his wife and three of their five children.
He married his wife Hatsuno in 1931 and they had five children. His wife died in 1992 and only two of his children are still alive.
When he was confirmed as the world’s oldest living man, he put his long life down to eating sweets and soaking in hot springs. However, his family believe it was due to him living a stress-free life.
The fastest-aging country in the world, Japan, as of September 2018, had a centenarian population of 69,785. Nearly 90% of them are women according to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.
The world’s oldest living person is also Japanese, Kane Tanaka, a 116-year-old woman from Fukuoka on the southern main island of Kyushu.