Japan excels at many things big and small — from the world’s tallest tower, to the world’s shortest escalator. It often has the youngest islands on the planet and the longest-living people. Having covered the country’s most impressive records , we now turn to the ones set by individuals and groups of people.
World’s Oldest DJ
This DJ grandma in her 80s, obviously shows that being cool doesn’t have to have an expiry date. The amazing Sumiko Iwamura (a.k.a. DJ Sumirock) became the oldest professional club DJ at 83, registered in the Guinness World Records in 2018 .
Iwamura is but a humble server at a Chinese restaurant by day, but come night she is laying beats in the center of Tokyo. It’s not like DJ Sumirock performs at boring events, she actually had a regular gig at Shinjuku’s Decabar Z and also travels to clubhouses across the globe.
What’s also fascinating is that Iwamura is a late bloomer. She started DJ school at the age of 77 just for fun. She always had an interest in music, but her father was against it. Her wish finally came true so her message to everyone is to never give up.
Bonus fact : The world’s youngest DJ in 2017 was also a Japanese person — the six-year-old Itsuki Morita. His record was broken by a 5-year-old from South Africa and is currently held by Archie Norbury, a 4-year-old British child from Hong Kong.
World’s Oldest Gaming YouTuber
Even older than DJ Sumirock, Hamako Mori is another cool Japanese grandma who plays video games and makes YouTube videos about them. She was inscribed in the Guinness Books of World Records in 2020 when she was 90 years old.
The Chiba-native has been playing games for almost four decades. Apparently, her favorite is Grand Theft Auto V.
Bonus fact : Japan also has the world’s oldest active pharmacist, Eiko Hiruma who was 95 years old in 2018, at the time of achieving the record. She comes from a family of pharmacists and works in Tokyo’s Itabashi Ward.
Largest Collection of Hello Kitty Memorabilia
Masao Gunji, a retired police officer who lives in Chiba, has built a separate pink house filled to the brim with 5,169 Hello Kitty items on his walls, tables and floors. The house cost around ¥10 million, while the items are estimated to have cost about ¥20 million.
Gunji started collecting them while he was still working, but once he retired his collection grew significantly to a record-breaking level. He got married at a later age and though his wife is not a Hello Kitty fan she says she likes his soft spot and passion.
Asako Kanda, also from Japan, held the previous record at 4,519 Hello Kitty items.
Largest Collection of Dragon Ball Memorabilia
Also in anime character memorabilia category, a Japanese person holds the record for most Dragon Ball items. Hitoshi Uchida is a lifelong fan of Dragon Ball and his collection numbers 10,098 different items. Of those, 4,000 are Son Goku items and have deserved their own separate room in Uchida’s home.
Uchida admits the size of his collection worried his family, but also says it saved his life. Like the anime characters, he is inspired to overcome hurdles and get stronger. He has also found a community through Dragon Ball and is participating in fan conventions showing parts of his collection.
Bonus fact : It’s not all anime, though. Masanao Kawada from Japan holds the record for the world’s largest collection of Cinderella memorabilia with 908 items.
Japanese chef Hiroshi Kuroda is a serial record breaker in the realm of noodles. In 2019 he got the record for the world’s longest handmade egg noodles which measured 183.72 meters. The record was previously held by chefs from Xiangnian Food Co. Ltd.
According to the Guinness World Records website : “Kuroda also has a record for the most noodle portions prepared in three minutes (9), thinnest handmade Chinese noodle (0.22 mm/0.0866 in) and the most noodle strings made in one minute (65,536).”
Bonus fact: Perhaps a little bit surprisingly, the most udon eaten in three minutes is held by an American, Jeremy Lanig. He ate 1,565 grams in three minutes in a competition in Takamatsu, Kagawa, the famous udon prefecture.
Recent Miscellaneous Records
Largest croquette in the world
The group of people who organize the regional summer festival in Assabu, Hokkaido made a 279-kilogram croquette on July 23, 2022.
Most M&Ms eaten in one minute blindfolded using chopsticks
This record was achieved by Wataru Otsuka on 25 June 2022. Otsuka had 1,000 M&Ms on the plate for the attempt and managed to eat 21 in the designated one minute.
Most pencils stood on end in 30 seconds
Hiroya Misuno set this record in May 2022, with 25 pencils. He has challenged this record with his father and set a new record surpassing his father’s record.
Most nuts crushed by sitting down in 30 seconds
The most nuts crushed by sitting down in 30 seconds is 78 and was achieved by Cherry Yoshitake aka “Mr Cherry” (Japan) in February 2022. This was on the set of the Italian reality show Lo Show Dei Record in Milan.