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112-Year-Old Japanese is the Oldest Man in the World, Says His Secret is Always Smiling and Not Getting Angry

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  • Chitetsu Watanabe, 112, loves sugar and still enjoys treats such as custards and cream puff fillings.
  • He worked in a sugar company and later served in the military during World War II.
  • He was an active gardener even after retirement, stopping only when he turned 104.

Chitetsu Watanabe is the world’s oldest man, as confirmed by the Guinness World Records. He will turn 113 next month, but Guinness already gave him an early birthday present.

Watanabe was given a certificate at the nursing home he’s staying in, located in Niigata, Japan. His secret to amazing longevity? Not getting angry and keeping a smile on his face.

Watanabe was presented with certificate earlier than his birthday.

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You may think he practices a strict diet but Watanabe enjoys eating sweets, like brown sugar. These days, he indulges on cream puff fillings and custards because he already lost his teeth.

Born on March 5, 1907, Watanabe was the oldest of eight children. He graduated from agricultural school, worked in a sugar company, Dai-Nippon Meiji, for a long time.

Chitetsu Watanabe moved to Taiwan to work on sugar cane plantations. He spent 18 years in the country and got married.

He then got into the military in 1944, serving near the end of World War II. After the war, he returned to Niigata, his hometown and experienced one of the most difficult times for the family.

Posing with the family before leaving for war.

Watanabe worked in a government agriculture office until he retired. He had five children.

Retirement did not stop him from keeping an active lifestyle. He and his son Tetsuo built a new family home on a hectare of farm.

Father and son were active gardeners, cultivating fruits and vegetables. Watanabe only stopped when he turned 104 years old.
Later on, he grew and exhibited bonsai trees until 2007.

Tetsuo explained the secret to his dad’s long life:

“I’ve lived together with him for over 50 years, and I’ve never seen him raise his voice or get mad. He’s also caring. When I was working on my patchwork hobby, he was the one who praised my work the most. I think having lived with a big family under one roof, mingling with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren helped keep a smile on his face as well.”

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