Gisaburo Sonobe

  • Lifespan: Nov. 6, 1911
  • Age: 111 years
  • Birthplace: Japan
  • Last residence: Chiba Prefecture, Japan
  • Validation date: Sept. 19, 2023
  • Validation source: MHLW, Japan/Robert Young/Waclaw Jan Kroczek

Gisaburo Sonobe was born in Japan on Nov. 6, 1911. For many years, Sonobe dedicated himself to educating the younger generation, teaching Japanese language and society at both junior and senior high schools. Following his teaching career, he transitioned to a role as a librarian, a profession he pursued until the age of 80, even after retirement. Notably, during his time as a teacher, he authored literary works such as the Oyudonojo Diary. In 2011, on the occasion of his 100th birthday, former students organized a heartwarming reunion to congratulate him. Even as he reached the age of 110, he continued to maintain connections with his students, exchanging New Year’s cards with them.

A lifelong passion for reading has been a constant in Sonobe’s life. He particularly enjoys delving into books on politics and health. He follows TV health programs and diligently incorporates the health practices advocated on television into his daily routine. His attention to maintaining a well-balanced diet, with a special fondness for potatoes and vegetables rich in calcium, is notable. Impressively, he has always preserved his natural teeth and has never required false ones.

Following the passing of Kingo Yumoto at the age of 109 on December 2, 2019, Gisaburo Sonobe assumed the title of the oldest known living man in Chiba Prefecture.

In November 2021, Sonobe celebrated his 110th birthday, officially becoming a supercentenarian, a testament to his remarkable longevity.

With the passing of Shigeru Nakamura at the age of 111 on November 15, 2022, in Hiroshima Prefecture, Gisaburo Sonobe became the oldest known living man in all of Japan.

At present, Gisaburo Sonobe continues to reside in Tateyama, Chiba Prefecture, Japan, having reached the impressive age of 111 years and 319 days. He holds the distinction of being the last known surviving Japanese man born in 1911, the final living Japanese man born during the Meiji era. Moreover, he ranks among the top 10 oldest known living men worldwide, a testament to his extraordinary longevity.

Gisaburo Sonobe’s age was verified by MHLW, Japan, Robert Young, and Waclaw Jan Kroczek, and validated by the GRG as of Sept. 19, 2023.


  • Doyen of Japan (Nov. 15, 2022 – present)
  • The last surviving Japanese man born in Meiji era.