Born on March 5, 1898, Okawa married when she was 21 and had three children, three grandchildren and six great grandchildren.
She was given the title of oldest person by Guinness World Records in 2013 after the passing of the previous record holder, 116-year-old compatriot Jiroemon Kimura.
Misao Okawa attributed her longevity to eating well, sleeping at least eight hours every night and taking regular naps.
"Eat and sleep and you will live a long time," she said. "You have to learn to relax."
The world's oldest person is now believed to be American Gertrude Weaver, who is reportedly 116 years old.