96-year-old Japanese man has been recognised as the world’s oldest university graduate with his degree in ceramic arts.
Senior Shigemi Hirata on Friday received his Guinness World Records certificate after getting a Bachelor of Arts degree from Kyoto University of Art and Design earlier this year.
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,” Hirata told to Japan’s Yomiuri newspaper.
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 served in the navy during World War II and has four great-grandchildren. He said, “I’m so happy. At my age it’s fun to be able to learn new things.”
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.
With Inputs From Agency