Masako Wakamiya obtained her first personal computer at age 58, just ahead of her retirement from a bank. Little did she know that she was beginning a journey that would make her the world’s oldest known iPhone app developer, at 81.
Now 84, Wakamiya calls herself an IT evangelist and encourages other seniors to use digital technology to enrich their lives. She writes books while spreading her message on the lecture circuit in Japan and abroad. Recently, she sat down with Nikkei to tell her story — from that first PC to talking shop with Apple CEO Tim Cook — and explain why we’re never too old to learn something new.
“Few households had computers back then, but the PC seemed interesting to me. I taught myself how to use it. At the time, my mother needed nursing care, so I was constantly looking after her. There were days when I could not go out at all. But the PC took me into a wider world.