The world's oldest living man from 14 April 2011 following the death of Walter Breuning of Montana, United States, Kimura's 115th birthday comes half a month after that of Dina Manfredini of Iowa, United States, and marks the first time in six years there have been three living 115-year-olds together.
Kimura is currently the world's third-oldest living person, the world's oldest Asian, and Japan's oldest person, distinctions he has held since the passing of Chiyono Hasegawa of Saga, Japan, on 2 December 2011, aged 115 years, 12 days. Hasegawa, at her death, was ranked as the world's second-oldest living person, behind Besse Cooper of Georgia, United States, born 26 August 1896.
|Kimura conversing with relatives on the occasion of his 115th birthday|
Aged 113 years 360 days at the time of Breuning's death, he is the oldest man ever to assume the title of world's oldest living male, a distinction that had previously been held by Joan Riudavets-Moll of the Balearic Islands, Spain, who was aged 113 years 287 days when he became the world's oldest man in 2003.
Kimura also holds the distinction of being the oldest man ever to have fathered children in his life, as the only two men older than him in history never fathered any children during their lives. They were Christian Mortensen of California, United States, who died in 1998 aged 115 years 252 days, and Emiliano Mercado Del Toro of Isabela, Puerto Rico, who died in 2007 aged 115 years 156 days.
At his 114th birthday, Kimura was only the sixth male in history to achieve that age, and on that day, he mentioned to the media his survival of the 7.6-magnitude Kyoto earthquake in 1927.
He is the oldest man ever from Japan as of 26 October 2011, then having surpassed the final age of the previous titleholder, Yukichi Chuganji, who died aged 114 years, 189 days. Shigechiyo Izumi, however, was for over twenty years recognised as Japan's oldest man (and person) at the alleged age of 120 years 237 days, though his case was eventually called into question and subsequently rejected as of the 2012 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records.
Kimura, who became the oldest living Japanese male on 19 June 2009 aged 112 years 61 days following the death of Tomoji Tanabe of Miyazaki Prefecture, cited small portions of food as the key to a long life.
A former postman and farmer, he is also the third-oldest known and undisputed Japanese person as of 11 April 2012. He had then surpassed the final age of 114 years 357 days achieved by the previous rank-holder, Kama Chinen, who died in Okinawa on 2 May 2010.
Click for a report on his birthday, and click on these links for video coverage of Kimura's 115th birthday.