Masa Matsumoto

  • Lifespan: 29.11.1909
  • Age: 113 years
  • Last residence: Konan-cho, Shiga Prefecture, Japan
  • Validation date: 24.02.2023
  • Validation source: Yumi Yamamoto/Yu Li/Tom Li/Waclaw Jan Kroczek

Masa Matsumoto, born on November 29, 1909, in Konan-cho, Koka District (now a part of Koka city), Shiga Prefecture, Japan, was the eldest among seven siblings. Upon completing her primary education, Matsumoto moved away from her family and worked as a babysitter, known as “Komori-Houkou,” at the Mitsubishi Group’s estate in Osaka. At the age of 22, she married her lifelong friend. Together, they had a son and a daughter.

Matsumoto resided with her eldest son’s family in Osaka until she reached the age of 89, where she cherished her role in caring for her grandchildren. Following her eldest son’s passing, she relocated to Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture, to live with her eldest daughter. Her stay with her daughter lasted until she reached the remarkable age of 108. Between the ages of 92 and 108, she regularly attended an elderly care center in her local community, where she developed a newfound interest in watercolor painting.

According to her eldest daughter, Yasuko Nishide (who was 85 as of September 2022), Matsumoto moved to Osaka Prefecture upon getting married. She recounted how Matsumoto experienced the hardships of war, enduring air raids and witnessing the aftermath, including the sight of injured people.

Around 2017, Nishide fell ill, prompting Matsumoto to move to a nearby nursing home. Currently, their interactions are limited to virtual meetings through screens, such as glass or mobile phones. While it takes time for Matsumoto to recognize Nishide, she expresses her gratitude and communicates with her daughter. Nishide remarked with a smile, “My mother remains composed and doesn’t get flustered.” Interestingly, Matsumoto enjoyed a daily sake ritual until her admission to the nursing home.

At the age of 108, Matsumoto faced hospitalization due to a compression fracture in her lower back. Determined to recover, she diligently worked on rehabilitation, climbing up and down from the first to the third floor of her home every day. Despite being told by her doctor that it would take three months for a full recovery, she achieved this milestone in just one month. Apart from this fracture, she had no history of illnesses or injuries. Her family attributes her longevity to her calm personality.