• Kyodo


Two Japanese sisters age 107 years and 300 days have been certified as the world's oldest living identical twins and the oldest ever recorded, Guinness World Records Japan said Monday.

Umeno Sumiyama and Koume Kodama had their record recognized as of Sept. 1, surpassing Japanese centenarian celebrity twin sisters Kin Narita and Gin Kanie who held the previous record of 107 years and 175 days. Narita died in 2000 and Kanie in 2001.

The previous record-setting twins were fondly known as Kin-san and Gin-san and were household names in Japan, having appeared on numerous television shows and in commercials.

Sumiyama and Kodama were born on Nov. 5, 1913, on Shodo Island, Kagawa Prefecture, as the third and fourth of a total of 11 siblings. They lived separately after graduating from elementary school, but in their 70s they began a pilgrimage to the 88 temples on Shikoku island, according to the certification.

They have in the past joked about aiming for the record set by Narita and Kanie, according to Guinness World Records.

The sisters reside in separate nursing homes. Sumiyama teared up upon receiving a certificate from staff at the facility, though Kodama, who suffers from memory loss, had difficulty comprehending the meaning of the award, a Guinness World Records press release said.

The number of people age 100 or above in Japan, which has one of the most rapidly aging populations in the world, hit an estimated 86,510, the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry said last week, setting a new record for the country.

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