107-year-old Japanese twins certified as world’s oldest
Written by tokyoclub on September 21, 2021
Two Japanese sisters have been certified by Guinness World Records as the world’s oldest living identical twins, aged 107 years and 330 days, the organization said Monday.
The announcement coincided with Respect for the Aged Day, a national holiday in Japan.
Sisters Umeno Sumiyama and Koume Kodama were born on Shodoshima island in western Japan on Nov 5, 1913, as the third and fourth of 11 siblings.
The sisters as of Sept 1 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 statement.
About 29% of the population of 125 million in Japan, the world’s fastest aging nation, are 65 years or older, according to the health and welfare ministry. About 86,510 of them are centenarians — half of whom turned 100 this year.
Sumiyama and Kodama were separated after finishing elementary school, when Kodama was sent to work as a maid in Oita on Japan’s southern main island of Kyushu. She later married there, while Sumiyama remained on the island they grew up on and had her own family.
The sisters later recalled their difficult younger days. Growing up, they said they were targets of bullying because of prejudice against children of multiple births in Japan.