Sister Act: Two Japanese Sisters Confirmed at World’s Oldest Living Identical Twins

Umeno Sumiyama and Koume Kodama, born in Japan on Nov. 5, 1913, making them well over 107 years old, have just been confirmed as the world’s oldest twins.

Guinness World Records has certified that two Japanese sisters are the world’s oldest living identical twins and the oldest ever identical twins at the age of 107.  The sisters, Umeno Sumiyama and Koume Kodama, were born on Nov. 5, 1913 — so, they were 107 years and 300 days old on Sept. 1, when their Guinness World Records were confirmed.  

The twins were born on Shodoshima island in western Japan — born third and fourth of 11 siblings — but they were separated after elementary school, when Kodoma was sent to work as a maid in Oita. She later married there, while Sumiyama remained on the island where they grew up and had a family of her own.

Growing up, the sisters said they experienced bullying because of prejudice against children of multiple births in Japan. They did not see each other much until they turned 70, when they began making pilgrimages to temples and enjoyed reconnecting.

Their families told Guinness that the sisters often joked about outliving the earlier record holders, Japanese sisters Kin Narita and Gin Kanie, who won the hearts of many in the late 1990s for their age and humor.

Japan is a country known for its supercentenarians — a person who is 110 years old or older. The current oldest person living, Kane Tanaka, 118, is from Japan.

Image source: NY Post, Japan Times