A Japanese man has been named the oldest male in recorded history by the Guinness World Records.
The 115-year-old Jiroemon Kimura was born in 1897, when Queen Victoria was still on the throne, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.
Exactly 115 years and 253 days old, Kimura reached the milestone yesterday, surpassing the previous record holder Christian Mortensen who died in 1998 at 115 years and 252 days.
His female counterpart is Frenchwoman Jeanne Calment, who died age 122 in 1997.
Kimura's 80-year-old nephew said his uncle has a very strong will to live.
"He is strongly confident that he lives right and well," he said.
Kimura lives with his grandson's widow Eiko Kimura, and has never had serious diseases, can communicate, and spends most of his time in bed.
"Grandpa is positive and optimistic," said Eiko.
"He becomes cheerful when he has guests. He's well with a good appetite. Even when he falls ill, I can tell he'll recover."
After finishing school at 14, as the second-best student in his class, Kimura worked at local post offices for 45 years until his retirement in 1962.
He also worked at a government communication unit in Korea in the 1920s.
Kimura is in hospital in Kyotango, where doctors are not worried about his condition but think he should stay into 2013.
Of the world's 64 oldest people, 22 of them come from Japan, according to research from the Los Angeles-based Gerontology Research Group.
- © Fairfax NZ News