107-Year-Old Japanese Siblings Certified As World's Oldest Twins

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Siblings from Japan get certified as the world’s oldest living identical twins at 107, by the Guinness World Records, coincidentally announced on the same day as Respect for the Aged Day, a national holiday in Japan which was celebrated on Monday. 20th September.

Umeno Sumaiyama and Koume Kodama are the third and fourth of 11 siblings born on Shodoshima Island situated in Western Japan on November 5, 1913.

The siblings were separated after elementary school, Kodama worked as a maid in Oita on the southern mail island of Kyushu, where she got married, while Sumiyama stayed on the island where the family lived and had her family of her own.

The sisters recall facing bullying in younger days due the stigma against children of multiple births in Japan. They rarely met until they turned 70, when they started making pilgrimages together to the 88 shikoku temples.

Sumiyama and Kodama turned 107 years and 300 days old on September 1, breaking the previous record set by Kin Narita and Gin Kanie at 107 years and 175 days who also belong to Japan as stated by Guinness World Records Ltd.

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The sisters often joked about outliving the earlier record-holders, says the family. Kin Narita and Gin Kanie who are affectionately knowns as "Kin-san" and "Gin-San" who enjoyed idol-like status in the late 1990s for their age and humour.

Out of 125 million population of Japan, 29% are 65 years or older according to the health and welfare ministry, Japan is the world’s fastest aging nation. About 86,510 of the 29% are centenarians half of whom will turn 100 this year.

Due to the COVID-19 virus restrictions the certificates of the record were mailed to the respective nursing homes where the sisters live now, Sumiyama received her certificate overjoyed with tears, says the Guinness Book of Records.

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