Guinness World Records has recently announced and certified two Japanese sisters as the world’s oldest living identical twins. The identical twins are now 107 years old. Well, there was an announcement made on Monday by Guinness World Records coinciding with Respect for the Aged Day, which is also a national holiday in Japan.
The twins named Umeno Sumiyama and Koume Kodama were born the third and fourth of 11 siblings on Shodoshima island located in the western region of Japan on Nov. 5, 1913.
These sisters were separated after elementary school when Kodama was sent to work as a maid in Oita on Japan’s southern main island of Kyushu. Kodama later also got married there, while her twin sister Sumiyama remained on the island where they grew up. She stayed with her own family.
The sisters later opened up about their young age and how many difficult days they had to face. Growing up, the twins said that they were bullied because of prejudice against children of multiple births in Japan. Both the sisters were busy with their own lives for years. They did not get a chance to meet often and they both rarely met each other until they turned 70. When they got old they both decided to start making pilgrimages together to some of the 88 Shikoku temples. They both were happy and also loved each other’s company. Sumiyama and Kodama were 107 years and 300 days old as of Sept 1.
The previous record of being the oldest twin living in the world was set by famous Japanese sisters Kin Narita and Gin Kanie at 107 years and 175 days as per the information received by the official statement by Guinness World Records Ltd. Their families told Guinness World Records that both the sisters often joked about breaking the record which was set earlier by the other Japanese sisters affectionately known as “Kin-san, Gin-san.” They attained idol-like status in the late 1990s for both their age as well as their humor.
According to the records, around 29% of the population of 125 million people living in Japan, the world’s fastest aging nation, are 65 years or older. The information is given by the health and welfare ministry. About 86,510 of them are centenarians. Around half of them have already turned 100 this year.
Due to the measures taken to stop the spread of coronavirus, the certificates for their record were mailed to the separate nursing homes where they now live. Sumiyama accepted hers with tears of happiness, according to Guinness World Records.