Shitsui Hakoishi, a 104-year-old barber, carried the Olympic torch in Nasukarasuyama in Tochigi Prefecture on Sunday while being escorted by her eldest son, 77 year old Hidemasa Hakoishi.
“I am relieved. I thought it would be difficult if I fell so I was nervous and walked with caution. I was able to play a big role,” she told reporters after the event.
Born in Tochigi in 1916, Hakoishi moved to Tokyo at the age of 14 to train as a barber. There, she married at the age of 22 and had two children including her eldest son Hidemasa.
Together with her husband, she ran a barber shop in Tokyo, before the Second World War began and the parlour was destroyed by air raids.
Her husband, who departed to the front, never returned and subsequently died in the war.