Two Japanese sisters, Umeno Sumaiya and Koume Kodama have broken the record set by late Japanese twin sisters Kin Narita and Gin Kanie to become the world’s oldest living twins at the age of 107. They have been certified by Guinness World Records.

The announcement was made on Respect for the Aged Day which is a national holiday in Japan.

World’s Oldest Twins

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The twins were born on November 5, 1913 in Shodoshima island in western Japan. They were the third and fourth of the 11 siblings. Breaking the record of the famous twins Kin and Gin of 107 years and 175 days, the new world record holders became eligible for it as of September 1 by living for more than 107 years and 300 days.

Japan is the world's fastest aging nation and about 29 per cent of the population of 125 million are older than 65 years of age, according to the health and welfare ministry.

Early Years

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Sumiyama and Kodama were separated just after they finished elementary school. This is because Kodama was sent to work as a maid in Oita on Japan’s southern main island of Kyushu. She got married there. On the other hand, Sumiyama stayed on the island on which they grew up and had her own family.

Their younger days were quite difficult. They were bullied several times while they were growing up. This is because of the prejudice against children of multiple births in Japan.

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The Sisters Bond

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The sisters rarely met until the age of 70 as they were busy in their own lives. However, they reconnected after this and started making pilgrims (facts about most visited Hindu pilgrimage site) together to some of the 88 Shikoku temples and enjoyed their time together.

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Guinness World Record

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The families told the Guinness World Records that the two sisters often used to joke about outliving the earlier record holders who were affectionately known as “Kin-san, Gin-san”. They attained idol-like status in the nation in the late 1990’s for both their age as well as humour.

Who knew that Sumiyama and Kodama’s joke would turn into reality one day and they would actually become record holders.

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Due to the ongoing pandemic, the sisters were sent their official certificates to be presented by staff at their care homes. Both of them live in different parts of Japan (why visit Tokyo) and their respective certificates reached them in their respective homes.  

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