Sugar & Smiles: World's Oldest Man Shares The Secrets To Living A Long Life

He really loves desserts.

Cover image via Guinness World Records

A Japanese man has recently become the world's oldest living man at 112 years and 344 days old

Chitetsu Watanabe received the honour from Guinness World Records on Wednesday, 12 February, when they presented him a certificate at the nursing home where he currently resides.

Watanabe was born on 5 March 1907 in Niigata, a city in nothern Japan

After graduating from agricultural school, AP reported that he moved to Taiwan to work at Dai-Nippon Meiji Sugar on sugar cane plantation contracts.

He lived in Taiwan for 18 years before marrying his wife, Mitsue, and had five children.

After serving in the military towards the end of World War II in 1944, he then returned to Niigata and worked for the prefectural government until retirement.

Watanabe (centre) at a sugar cane farm.

Image via Guinness World Records

However, retirement did nothing to slow him down

In 1974, at the age of 67, he moved in with his first son, Tetsuo, and built a family home with a hectare-worth of farmland where he grew fruit and vegetables.

His daughter-in-law Yoko Watanabe, wife of Tetsuo, told Guinness that Watanabe also raised bonsai, the Japanese traditional art of raising small sculpted trees, and had kept over 100 of them, which he often presented at local exhibitions.

Watanabe (centre) showing his bonsai trees off at Joetsu City Senior Exhibition in 2005.

Image via Guinness World Records

Watanabe credits his long life to not getting angry and keeping a smile on his face as much as possible

"I've lived together with him for over 50 years, and I've never seen him raise his voice or get mad," Yoko told Guinness. "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."

Despite his very advanced age, Watanabe still keeps busy in the retirement home by doing rehabilitation exercises, making origami, and doing calligraphy and math

The centenarian also loves sweet things despite having lost all his teeth. He enjoys desserts that do not require chewing such as custard puddings and cream from creampuffs.

According to HuffPost, Watanabe is four years away from overtaking fellow countryman Jiroemon Kimura, who was 116 before he passed away in 2013, for the record of being the oldest man ever.

These elderly people also did not let age define them:

You may be interested in: