Over 100 people with the same first and last name gathered in Tokyo earlier this week to break a Guinness World Record.
On Sunday, 178 Hirokazu Tanakas met in Tokyo’s Shibuya ward. Their gathering was organized by the Tanaka Hirokazu association, which was founded by 53-year-old Hirokazu Tanaka in 1995.
Tanaka was reportedly inspired to create the association in 1994 after learning about a baseball prodigy with the same name and feeling “thunderous joy” at the time.
According to Tanaka, the association previously attempted to break the world record. In 2011, only 71 Hirokazu Tanakas showed up, and in 2017, that number increased to just 87.
The association’s recent record-breaking attempt involved Hirokazu Tanakas of different ages and backgrounds, including a 3-year-old Hirokazu Tanaka and an 80-year-old Hirokazu Tanaka. There was even a Hirokazu Tanaka from Vietnam who went all the way to Japan for the gathering.
Every Hirokazu Tanaka in the packed theater wore T-shirts with their names written on them. To differentiate themselves, they gave themselves aliases based on their favorite food, job or hobby. For example, one of the participants was called “Chewing Gum,” while another was called “Hot Pot.” Meanwhile, the Tanaka who founded the Tanaka Hirokazu association was called “Semi-Leader.”
According to Guinness World Record rules, the participants needed to stay in the same place for five minutes. An official observing the association eventually declared that they broke the previous world record. “Congratulations on your achievement!” the official was quoted as saying.
The previous world record was set by 164 people named Martha Stewart in 2005.