Gerontology Wiki
Shigechiyo Izumi
Shigechiyo Izumi.jpg
Birth: June 29, 1865?
Isen, Tokunoshima, Ryūkyū Kingdom
Death: February 21, 1986
Isen, Ōshima District, Kagoshima, Japan
Claimed Age: 120 years, 237 days
Country: JapanJPN

Shigechiyo Izumi (29 June 1880 (claimed 29 June 1865) – 21 February 1986) was a Japanese supercentenarian claimant.


Shigechiyo Izumi claimed to have been born in Isen, located on the Tokunoshima Island, Ryukyu Kingdom (now part of Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan), on 29 June 1865. Assuming his claimed birth-date is correct, he would have attained an age of 120 years, 237 days, older than any other recognized male, and be the second-longest lived human ever, second only to Frenchwoman Jeanne Calment. He was recorded as a six-year-old in Japan's first Census of 1871. Until Calment surpassed him in age in 1995, he would have been the oldest person ever. However, Japanese researchers in 1987 reported that an investigation into Izumi's age showed that he was "only 105". In April 1987, 14 months after Izumi's death, the Department of Epidemiology at the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology reported that research into Izumi's family registration records indicated Izumi was only 105 when he died (citation: Asahi News Service, APRIL 6, 1987, MONDAY, JAPANESE EXPERT DEBUNKS IDEA OF 'VILLAGE OF 100-YEAR-OLDS').

Izumi's wife Miya died at the claimed age of 90 in 1956 (as they had a child in 1924, when Miya would have been 58, her claimed age is subject to doubt). He drank brown sugar shōchū (A Japanese alcoholic beverage often distilled from barley or rice), and took up smoking at age 70. He began his career in 1872 goading draft animals at a sugar mill. He attributed his long life to "the Gods, Buddha, and the Sun." He stood at 1.42 meters tall (4"8), weighed 42.6 kilograms (94 pounds) and lived through 71 Japanese Prime Ministers.

He died of pneumonia after a brief hospitalization in Isen, Oshima District, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan, on 21 February 1986, at 12:15 GMT, the same day as Jeanne Calment's 111th birthday.