96-year-old Japanese man becomes oldest university graduate

Tokyo, June 5: A 96-year-old Japanese man has entered the Guinness World Records after becoming the oldest person in the world to receive a university degree, officials said on Sunday.

Shigemi Hirata, who lives in Takamatsu, received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Art and Design from Kyoto University in March at the age of 96 years and 200 days, EFE news reported.

96-year-old gets varsity degree

"I am genuinely happy. Learning is always fun at any age," said Hirata in an article published by the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper.

The navy veteran was motivated by his interest in traditional Japanese pottery to enrol in a distance-learning course at the age of 85, and took 11 years to complete his degree.

Hirata was born in Hiroshima on September 1, 1919, and served in the navy during the Second World War.

After the war ended, he worked as a security guard in a Takamatsu hospital until his retirement in the 1980s.

"My next goal is to live until 100. If I'm still in good shape at the time, I will consider going to graduate school," joked Hirata, who has two children, five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.


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