110-year-old Japanese American shares advice for healthier, longer life

110-year-old Japanese American shares advice for healthier, longer life110-year-old Japanese American shares advice for healthier, longer life
via Today
Michelle De Pacina
19 days ago
Yoshiko Miwa, the oldest living person of Japanese descent in the U.S., attributes her longevity to staying engaged and not dwelling on negativity.
Key points:
  • Miwa, 110, was born on February 28, 1914, in Guadalupe, California, to Japanese immigrants. She has lived through significant historical events such as the Spanish flu, prohibition, Black Tuesday and World War II, enduring the losses of family and friends along the way.
  • In an interview with Today, she shared some tips on longevity and maintaining a positive outlook on life.
The details:
  • As Miwa encourages people to stay positive and resilient, she believes in the importance of keeping the body and mind active with a variety of hobbies and activities. Miwa walks for four miles every morning and engages in a diverse range of interests, such as reading and practicing arts like ikebana (flower arranging) and sumi-e (ink art).
  • Miwa also says to reflect on life experiences and express gratitude for support received from family and community. She wrote an autobiography, reminiscing about her upbringing and travels. 
  • While Miwa enjoys a varied and balanced diet every day, she also incorporates foods that bring joy and satisfaction, like noodles. “When I was in the children’s home, the cook used to make noodles and I used to love them. Today, I like spaghetti, udon, ramen, soba and any other kind of noodles,” the supercentenarian said. 
  • Miwa also draws strength from her faith, particularly her gratitude toward Rev. and Mrs. Issei Matsuura of the Guadalupe Buddhist Church in California. They provided support and took her in when her mother passed away during the Spanish flu pandemic when she was just 4 years old. 
  • Lastly, Miwa believes it is important to foster connections with loved ones, cherishing moments spent together and nurturing family bonds.
About Miwa: 
  • Miwa, who graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1936, was part of the second-generation Japanese Americans who were sent to incarceration camps during WWII. She was sent to Poston Internment Camp in Arizona during WWII, and she later relocated to Hawthorne, California.
  • In 1939, Miwa married Henry Miwa, who founded a plant nursery business post-war, while she obtained her nursing license in 1963. They had three sons, 10 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.
  • Miwa currently resides in a care facility, enjoying weekly hair appointments and attending church services.
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