81-Year-Old Woman Codes an iPhone App After Only Starting to Use Computers at 60

masako wakamiya 81-year-old programmer hinadan app hinamatsuri

Programming may seem like a skill best left to the younger generation, but 81-year-old Masako Wakamiya has proven that people of all ages can crack the code. As the designer and creator of Hinadan, an innovative and one-of-a-kind app, the Japanese mover and shaker is undeniably skilled in the art of modern technology.

Wakamiya learned the ins and outs of programming through a 6-month computer class. After completing the course and regularly consulting her teacher, she came up with the idea for Hinadan. A clever combination of hina, traditional Japanese Emperor and Empress dolls, and dan, or “tier,” the Hinadan app is intended to aid individuals in Japan as they prepare for Hinamatsuri, or Girls' Day. Celebrated on March 3, Girls' Day is a holiday known for its doll displays, which are carefully arranged on a series of platforms. Recognizing that many people are unaware of the hinas' proper placement, Wakamiya created the app, which uses a quirky game to teach users how to correctly present their dolls.

Since creating the unique application, Wakamiya has often encouraged her fellow elders to familiarize themselves with today's technology, citing messaging services as both a user-friendly introductory step and as a way to keep in touch with their younger family members. During an inspirational TEDx Talk, Wakamiya concluded her speech by addressing the older audience members. “Why don't we enjoy the digital life?” she rhetorically asked. “There are a lot of computer classes around, so now is the time to do it! Your silver life will be enriched, and very energetic.”

You can download Wakamiya's app from the Apple App store.

Masako Wakamiya is not your average senior citizen.

masako wakamiya 81-year-old programmer hinadan app hinamatsuri

Inspired by Hinamatsuri, a Japanese holiday dedicated to dolls, she created the Hinadan app.

masako wakamiya 81-year-old programmer hinadan app hinamatsuri

Image via Shutterstock.

masako wakamiya 81-year-old programmer hinadan app hinamatsuri

masako wakamiya 81-year-old programmer hinadan app hinamatsuri

Now, the 81-year-old programmer aims to get other elders involved with technology.

masako wakamiya 81-year-old programmer hinadan app hinamatsuri

Hear her inspiring TEDx Talk below.

h/t: [Mashable, RocketNews24]

All images via TED Talk and Apple unless otherwise stated.

Kelly Richman-Abdou

Kelly Richman-Abdou is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. An art historian living in Paris, Kelly was born and raised in San Francisco and holds a BA in Art History from the University of San Francisco and an MA in Art and Museum Studies from Georgetown University. When she’s not writing, you can find Kelly wandering around Paris, whether she’s leading a tour (as a guide, she has been interviewed by BBC World News America and France 24) or simply taking a stroll with her husband and two tiny daughters.
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