Two Japanese sisters have been certified by Guinness World Records as the world’s oldest living identical twins, 107 years and 330 days old, the organization said on Monday. The announcement coincided with Respect for the Elderly Day, a national holiday in Japan. Sisters Umeno Sumiyama and Koume Kodama were born on Shodoshima Island, western Japan, on November 5, 1913, as the third and fourth of 11 siblings. As of September 1, the sisters broke the previous record of 107 years and 175 days set by famous Japanese twin sisters Kin Narita and Gin Kanie, Guinness World Records Ltd. said. in a press release.
About 29% of the 125 million people in Japan, the oldest country in the world, are 65 or older, according to the Ministry of Health and Welfare. About 86,510 of them are 100 years old, half of whom turned 100 this year.
Sumiyama and Kodama were separated after finishing elementary school, when Kodama was sent to work as a housekeeper in Oita on the southern main island of Japan, Kyushu. She later married there, while Sumiyama stayed on the island they grew up on and had her own family. The sisters later remembered their difficult youth. Growing up, they said they were bullied because of the stigma against multiple birth children in Japan.
Busy with their own lives for decades, the sisters rarely met until the age of 70, when they began making pilgrimages together to some of the 88 temples in Shikoku and enjoyed reconnecting. Their families told Guinness World Records that the sisters often joked about surviving the early record-holders, affectionately known as “Kin-san, Gin-san,” who achieved idol status at the time. late 1990s for their age and humor. Due to the anti-coronavirus measures, the certificates of their new record were mailed to the separate retirement homes where they now live, and Sumiyama accepted hers with tears of happiness, according to Guinness.
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