A 96-year-old Japanese man is at the prospect of breaking more records after being recognised as the world s oldest university graduate with his degree in ceramic arts.
Spritely senior Shigemi Hirata received his Guinness World Records certificate the other day after earning a Bachelor of Arts degree from Kyoto University of Art and Design earlier this year, local media reported Saturday.
Born on a Hiroshima farm in 1919 — the year the Allies and Germany signed the Treaty of Versailles — Hirata is something of a celebrity on campus.
“Students whose name I don’t even know call out to greet me,” he told Japan s Yomiuri newspaper.
“That gives me a lot of energy.”
Hirata, who took 11 years to complete his ceramic arts course after taking up pottery as a pensioner, insisted he was not done setting records.
“My goal is to live until I am 100,” he said. “If I m fit enough it might be rather fun to go to graduate school.”
Hirata, who served in the navy during World War II and has four great-grandchildren, added: “I m so happy. At my age, its fun to be able to learn new things.”
Japan s perky pensioners regularly set eye-popping records as the silver-haired generation enjoy longer and healthier lives.
Last year, 100-year-old Mieko Nagaoka became the world s first centenarian to complete a 1,500-metre freestyle swim, 20 years after she took up the sport.
Many elderly Japanese remain physically active long after other people have given up the ghost.
Twinkle-toed sprinter Hidekichi Miyazaki, dubbed “Golden Bolt” after Jamaican superstar Usain Bolt, also set a world record last year, clocking 42.22 seconds for the 100 metres in the over-105 category a day after reaching the milestone age.
There were nearly 59,000 centenarians in Japan in 2015, according to government figures — which means 46 out of every 100,000 people is 100 or over.