A Japanese woman has extended her record as the world's oldest person by celebrating her 117th birthday at a nursing home in Fukuoka, Japan.

Kane Tanaka celebrated the day by having a party with her friends and eating cake.

Last year she was honoured as the world's oldest living person by Guinness World Records.

Kane Tanaka poses with her Guinness World Records certificate at a nursing home where she lives in Fukuoka. Photo / AP
Kane Tanaka poses with her Guinness World Records certificate at a nursing home where she lives in Fukuoka. Photo / AP

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Tanaka was born on January 2, 1903, the seventh of eight children.

She married Hideo Tanaka in 1922, and they had four children and adopted another child. She is usually up by 6am and enjoys studying mathematics.

The previous oldest living person was another Japanese woman, Chiyo Miyako, who died in July at age 117. The oldest person prior to Miyako was also Japanese. Japanese tend to exhibit longevity and dominate the world's oldest-persons list.

French woman Jeanne Calment died at the age of 122 years and 164 days in 1997 - making her the oldest person ever. Photo / Getty Images
French woman Jeanne Calment died at the age of 122 years and 164 days in 1997 - making her the oldest person ever. Photo / Getty Images

But Tanaka has a while to go before she is the oldest person ever. That title still belongs to French woman, Jeanne Louise Calment, who lived to 122 years, according to Guinness World Records.

Guinness said the world's oldest man is still under investigation after the man who had the honours, Masazo Nonaka, living on the Japanese northernmost island of Hokkaido, died in January at 113.

Masazo, who enjoyed eating sweets, used to regularly soak in local springs, and would move about in a wheelchair, wearing his trademark knit cap.

He spent his retirement watching sumo wrestling on TV, reading newspapers and eating sweets and cakes.

His family put his long life down to the fact he lived his life in a way that did not bring him stress.

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He outlived all seven of his siblings, as well as his wife and three of their five children.

- Additional reporting from news.com.au.