Jiroemon Kimura
Jiroemon Kimura holds his great-great-grandchild in Kyotango, western Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo April 19, 2012. The world's oldest person, 116-year-old Japanese man Kimura, died on June 12, 2013, Japanese media said. Kimura, who lived in Kyotango near Kyoto in western Japan, had been hospitalised for pneumonia since last month. He became the world's oldest person on December 17, 2012, after the former title holder, a 115-year-old woman from Iowa died, according to Guinness World Records. Image Credit: REUTERS/Kyodo Reuters

The world's oldest man, 116-year-old Jiroemon Kimura, died in the early hours of Wednesday morning. The 1897-born Japanese national was admitted to a hospital in Kyoto for treatment for pneumonia.

The super-centenarian made the headlines in December last year, when he was recognised by the Guinness World Records as oldest living person - 115 years and 253 days, to be precise. He took over the record from Dina Manfredini, an American living in Iowa.

According to CBS News, Manfredini died on 17 December, just about two weeks after inheriting the record from another super-centenarian - Bessie Cooper of Georgia, who died at 116 too.

Kimura, who was only 15 days younger than Manfredini, has lived through an astonishing four Japanese emperors, two World Wars and 61 Japanese Prime Ministers.

When asked about the secret of his long life, Kimura said: "I don't know exactly. Maybe it's all thanks to the sun above me. I am always looking up towards the sky, that is how I am."

During his lifetime, Kimura worked at a local post office for over four decades and spent time farming after retiring from his job at 65. According to the Mirror, he continued to farm till he was 90 years old.

Kimura is survived by his seven children, 14 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren and 15 great-great-grandchildren.

Long Lives in Japan

The Land of the Rising Sun is known for longevity of life. 2011 government figures showed more than 50,000 people aged 100 and above. And following Kimura's death, the title of the oldest living person is expected to go to another Japanese super-centenarian - 115-year-old Misao Ookawa.

Kimura shared his birth date and year with former British Prime Minister Anthony Eden, Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels and children's writer Enid Blyton. The oldest person ever to have lived, according to reports is a French woman, Jeanne Calment. According to the Guinness World Records, Calment lived to 122 years and 164 days before dying in 1997.