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Old Woman Leads Japanese Elderly to Tech Era

Old Woman Leads Japanese Elderly to Tech Era

Friday, 18 May, 2018 - 05:00
Masako Wakamiya. KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP

While dancing and swaying on "Oh, Pretty Woman", the 80-year-old Masako Wakamiya dances on stage before making an inspiring speech. Wakamiya, who launched an application for iPhones last year, says before a Japanese audience of about 200 elderly people in the coastal city of Yokohama "time has changed.”

Wakamia motivated older people to get rid of negativity, and highlighted their need to efficiently search for the information that helps them keep up with everyday life. "It's also important to build your own communication and presentation skills," she says.

After launching her app last year, the Japanese developer won a trip to Apple's headquarters in California to attend the company's Worldwide Developers Conference, and had a meeting with its CEO, Tim Cook, according to the German news agency (dpa).

After working in banks for more than four decades, Wakamia bought her first computer at the age of 60. She then began to communicate with other senior users, through an online club, along with caring for her aging mother at home.

After she started teaching basic computer skills to other elderlies, Wakamia felt frustrated by the lack of online entertainment content targeting older people. So she dealt with it herself, and devised a way to produce art using Excel and then share it with others.

She began to learn English and published many books, including a book entitled “Your life gets more interesting when you hit 60.”

Wakamiya is currently the vice president of Milo Club, a nationwide e-club that organizes lectures. She is also a member of “the 100-year period”, a government committee led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

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