Published On: Sat, Jun 4th, 2016

Japanese man, 96, becomes world’s oldest college graduate

444 views

TOKYO, Japan – A 96-year-old Japanese man is thrilled at the prospect of breaking more records after being recognized as the world’s oldest university graduate with his degree in ceramic arts.

OLDEST GRADUATE. 96-year-old Shigemi Hirata is the world's oldest university graduate. File photo is a handout photo provided by the Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System (DVIDS) of the US Department of Defense of hats going skyward as the U.S. Air Force 'Thunderbirds' jets fly over the U.S. Air Force Academy Class of 2016 Graduation ceremony. Photo by Michael Kaplan/EPA/USAF

OLDEST GRADUATE. 96-year-old Shigemi Hirata is the world’s oldest university graduate. File photo is a handout photo provided by the Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System (DVIDS) of the US Department of Defense of hats going skyward as the U.S. Air Force ‘Thunderbirds’ jets fly over the U.S. Air Force Academy Class of 2016 Graduation ceremony. Photo by Michael Kaplan/EPA/USAF

Spritely senior Shigemi Hirata received his Guinness World Records certificate on Friday, July 4 after earning a Bachelor of Arts degree from Kyoto University of Art and Design earlier this year, local media reported Saturday.

Popular: Pakistani father of 35 aims for 100 children

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’m 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 4 great-grandchildren, added: “I’m so happy. At my age it’s fun to be able to learn new things.”

Popular: Russian man sues ex-girlfriend for $600 spent on ‘romance’

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-meter 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 meters 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.

Popular: Elizabeth Holmes’ net worth has crash to “nothing” from $4.5 billion just last year.

About the Author

Syed Ammar Alavi

- is Lahore (Pakistan) based journalist & writer with 25-year experience in print, wire and broadcast forms of journalism. His major fields of interest are politics, film,tv,sports, climate change and technology

Pin It