Is Mbah Gotho 146 years old?

A centenarian who claims to be the world’s oldest man says he recently celebrated his 146th birthday. According to his ID card, Mbah Gotho, from Indonesia, was born on 31 December 1870. If this is accurate, he is the oldest person to have ever lived, taking the title from French Jeanne Calment, who died at the age of 122 in 1997. Gotho reportedly celebrated his birthday alongside his grandson, Suryanto, his wife, Suwarni, and his great-grandchildren Erika Kurniawati and Anisa Kurniawati.

According to The Independent, when asked the secret to his longevity, Gotho said: “The recipe is just patience.”

He has outlived all 10 of his siblings, four of his wives and all of his children. According to the MailOnline, the Indonesian records office has confirmed Gotho’s birthdate as 31st December 1870.

However, the paperwork for his Indonesian ID card has yet to be independently verified, so it is currently unclear whether or not he’ll appear in official record books as the world’s oldest person.


Interesting that he has two names and one sounds a bit like superman.

Saparman Sodimejo, known more commonly as Mbah Gotho (born, reportedly, 31 December 1870) is an Indonesian man who is claimed to be the oldest person ever recorded. In May 2010, Solopos reported that enumerators of that year’s census had recorded his age next birthday as 142, which would make him 19 years older than the official oldest recorded person, Jeanne Calment, who died in 1997. The Liputan 6 website reported that Mbah Gotho’s estimated age was 140, that he could not remember his date of birth but claimed to remember the construction of a sugar factory built in Sragen in 1880.

In August 2016, after a television report on Liputan 6, numerous international media outlets reported Mbah Gotho’s claim, including photographs of his ID card (issued in 2014), which displays his claimed birth date. Although Indonesian officials at the local record office confirm the birth date there is no independent, third-party verification of his claimed age, which is required for the longevity claim to be recognized by record authorities such as Guinness World Records.

Robert Young of the Gerontology Research Group said the claimed age was “fiction”, “unbelievable” and “in the same category as Sasquatch [“Bigfoot”], the Yeti, and the Loch Ness Monster.” 

The 2010 Liputan 6 story noted others of a similar claimed age including a woman named Maemunah and known as Ambu Unah, supposedly born in 1867, in Cimanuk, Pandeglang Regency.


He’s been ready to die for a while. 

… If the documents are true, that makes him significantly older than the verified oldest person in the world ever – a title that belongs to French woman Jeanne Calment who lived to be 122.

The super senior citizen from Sragen, Central Java, was recently interviewed by Liputan 6, and he said he has been through it all and would not mind passing on.

“What I want is to die. My grandchildren are all independent,” he told Liputan 6 on Tuesday.

Suryanto, Mbah Gotho’s grandson, said his grandfather has been preparing for his death ever since he was 122, but it never seemed to come.

He said: “The gravestone there was made in 1992. That was 24 years ago.”

In addition, Suryanto said Mbah Gotho’s family has already prepared a grave site for him – near his children’s graves.

Staff at the Indonesian records office have confirmed Mbah Gotho’s birth date, which is specified on his Indonesian ID card as December 31, 1870.

Whether or not he will ever be listed as the world’s oldest man however is open to question, as the paperwork has so far not been independently verified.

Born in 1870, he bought his own gravestone 20 years ago

If so he will join others without verifiable records who are believed to be older than Mbah Gotho – 171-year-old James Olofintuyi from Nigeria and 163-year-old Dhaqabo Ebba from Ethiopia.

These days, his grandchildren say Mbah Gotho mostly sits listening to the radio because his eyesight is too poor to watch TV.

For the past three months, he has had to be spoon-fed and bathed as he has become more frail.

When asked what his secret to longevity is, Mbah Gotho replied: “The recipe is just patience.”


How do we know that Mbah Gotho is  the same person as Saparman Sodimejo in the ID? I hope someone will check this out and verify. Here is a higher resolution photo: 

Here is some video of him:


Further back in time, there is a Japanese folk tale about an acupressure/accupunture point call Stomach 36 which increases longevity and a farmer named Manpei who lived 243 years.

A Japanese folk tale from the Edo era (1603-1867) about Farmer Manpei tells that when Manpei was asked whether he had any secret to maintaining long life, he answered that he had no secret other than burning Moxa on St-36 every day, just as his ancestors had done. It is recorded that Manpei lived 243 years; his wife, Taku, lived 242 and their son, Mankichi, lived 196 years.
In recent records, it is well known that Doctor Shimetaro Hara used to burn Moxa on his St-36 every day and he lived to be over 100 years of age.


Besting Manpei was Li Ching-Yuen, the amazing 256 year old man, supposedly.

When the Chinese herbalist Li Ching-Yuen died in 1933, newspapers around the world reported the news of his passing. According to his own testimony, he was 197 years old.

An investigation, however, suggested Li had forgotten his actual birthday. Official government records recorded the birth year as 1677, making him 256

… Wu Pei-fu, the warlord, took Li into his house to learn the secret of living to 250. Another pupil said Li told him to “keep a quiet heart, sit like a tortoise, walk sprightly like a pigeon and sleep like a dog.”

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