World's oldest living man (112) says secret to a long life is to 'keep smiling'
14 February, 2020, 22:29
The 112-year-old has led an incredible life, having been born in Niigata in 1907 as the oldest of eight children before going on to work in agriculture in Taiwan and eventually serving in the Pacific War in 1944.
Watanabe was officially given the title at a nursing home in Niigata where he now resides.
Chitetsu Watanabe, 112, poses next to the calligraphy he wrote after being awarded as the world's oldest living male by Guinness World Records, in Joetsu, Niigata prefecture, northern Japan Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020. Don't get angry and keep smiling.
He then moved to Taiwan to work at Dai-Nippon Meiji Sugar.
"Both Chitetsu and Tetsuo told me that getting to places and sourcing food was a struggle".
Watanabe was recognized as the oldest living man after the previous holder of the title, Masazo Nonaka from Japan's northernmost main island of Hokkaido, died January 20, 2019, aged 113.
Watanabe worked at his farm until he was 104 years old.
'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'. He also grew fruit and vegetables on the family farm.
Until about a decade ago, Mr Watanabe used to grow bonsai trees and had a collection of about 100 which he used to exhibit.
"I've lived together with him for over 50 years, and I've never seen him raise his voice or get mad". In 1974, he and his son Tetsuo had built a new family home.
The oldest person to have ever lived was Jeanne Louise Calment, who lived to be 122 and died in 1997.