5 Reasons Why People In Japan Have High Life Expectancy

10 Interesting Facts About Japan You Probably Didn't Know

Japanese people are known to be very strict with the food they eat. Could it be the main reason why they are leading the list of countries with the highest life expectancy? Well if you are curious as to why Japan is the home of long-lived people, dive deep into this article as we will look into facts and the reasons why they tend to have a longer life than people in other countries.

Japan, the land of the rising sun, is considered to be a country with an advanced economy and fast-rising innovations yearly. It is considered a dream country by many, as Japan has many qualities that are fit to be the embodiment of a country you will want to retire to or settle down to. Among all the many interesting things about Japan, there is one that is seen to be amazing by many, and that is that people in Japan have the highest life expectancy.

People in Japan have a high life expectancy of up to 87 years, with women being the lead on who lives longer, and men having to live up to 81 years or more. Millions of people in Japan are over 90 years old and above, and a fun fact; six (6) of the top 10 oldest people in the world are all Japanese! The top one (1) oldest person alive was the last person born in the 19th century— Nabi Tajima. She was born on August 4, 1900, and lived up to 117 years! She died last 2018.

Kane Tanaka was born in 1903 and died just last year 2022, She was 119 years old and was considered the oldest Japanese person who ever lived. Notice how they are all women? It’s true even the list of the top 10 oldest people is full of females. The reasons why women live longer than males are still studied as years go by but one thing for sure is because of biological differences.

Kane Tanaka Source: The Japan Times

One of the things seen is the fact that many old Japanese people who lived up to 100 and more years old are residing in the countryside of Japan or in prefectures that tend to have more farms than skyscrapers or city lights. Many people are saying that the key to a healthy and long life is living in a stress-free environment and having a stress-free life, could it be the same as the Japanese people? Sure, there are many reasons why they live longer than the rest of the people from countries all around the world, so we are going to enumerate them one by one.

5 Reasons why Japanese live longer

#1. Eating Lifestyle/Diet

In a study published last 2016, it is stated that the main contributor to why Japanese have high life expectancy is their eating lifestyle or their diet. The food they eat plays an integral part in their diet which plays a huge part in their health. Japanese people prefer fish rather than red meat, also they are very strict about the portion of their eating hence, their naturally lean bodies.

Back in 2018, an interviewed woman who lives in Tottori Prefecture named Tomiko-san who was 106 years old at that time, said that her secret to her long life was none other than tofu! She said that back in 1954, in the Showa era, there were annual health checkups for the locals, and many people were said to have high blood pressure, so the health officers told them to eat soybeans. Back then, in order to eat the soybeans they made them into tofu so that children and old people could eat them easily.

It is no wonder that some Japanese household makes their own tofu rather than going to the groceries to buy it, and also no wonder that Japanese people have a lower rate of people dying from ischemic heart diseases and cancers, because soybeans and other soy foods, reduce the risk of having cardiovascular diseases, coronary heart diseases, stroke, and other cancers, it is also good for the bones, hence, as to why Tomiko-san was still walking faster than less old people her age.

Other interviewed old Japanese people also say that green tea also helps a lot. It is also proven that drinking hot water or tea is straight-up healthier rather than drinking cold water and other drinks. A 97-year-old man also said in an interview that fermented foods are his secret as well as less fatty foods. Clearly, we need to take note of these foods if we want to live longer than the Japanese people too.

Foods to take note of:

  • Tofu
  • Fermented foods
  • Green tea
  • Seafood/Fish
  • Fewer patty foods/ red meat

Eating/consuming note:

  • Always remember to eat in smaller portions

And that’s how Japanese people do their diet, take note of these because they came from the elders; as they say, they have more life experiences than we have so let us take their advice.

Source: BBC Good Food

#2. Stress-free Environment

Most old people in Japan retire in the countryside, in prefectures where there are lots of farms and green surroundings rather than enormous skyscrapers and bustling crowds. The environment always plays a huge part in terms of making one person stress-free. Old Japanese people choose to go farming when becoming old because this helps their body also maintain their strength and at the same time helps them relax and be at peace.

#3. Hot Springs or Onsen

I mean, who does not like hot baths? It is said that hot or warm baths relax the body and make the boy and your mind go stress-free and be in a relaxed state. Japan is known for its Hot Springs and public baths. Many Japanese go to these places to relax and for the health benefits, it brings. One benefit of Onsens is that it naturally detoxifies your skin too!

#4. Personal Responsibility Education

Of course, what is the want to live longer if you cannot take care of yourself and be the one responsible for it? In Japan, as early as middle school or earlier school level, they are already teaching the kids how to take care of themselves in terms of everything, the quality of life teachings in schools in Japan is something that is properly executed, hence the other things that can be seen like for example, the street clean, school grounds are clean, parks are clean, that only means that even in early age, kids are being responsible.

Source: Asia Society

#5. DNA

Other than all of the possible ways to have a long life, one of the most factual reasons as to why Japanese people live longer or why all people live longer is because of genetics too. Think of it this way, if your family line has a history of people in the family living up to 100 or they all have a high life expectancy, then it is possible that you can have that DNA in you and live long, well that of course together with taking care of your body, but it will be no doubt a genetics thing.

Japanese people and the country of Japan are both amazing. I know some of you want to live in this beautiful country or just to visit, until then, you should definitely try these diet tips or lifestyle of the Japanese people, in terms of longer life expectancy.