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Secret to Japan couple’s 80 years of marriage

Patience is key: Masao Matsumoto, right, and Miyako Matsumoto at a nursing house in Takamatsu.

Patience is key: Masao Matsumoto, right, and Miyako Matsumoto at a nursing house in Takamatsu.   | Photo Credit: KWIYEON HA

Oldest living spouses by aggregate age

Japan is known for its abundance of centenarians and can now lay claim to having the world’s oldest living married couple, with a combined age of 208 — a feat the wife credits to her patience during 80 years of marriage.

Masao Matsumoto, 108, and his 100-year-old wife, Miyako, have been confirmed as the oldest living spouses by aggregate age by Guinness World Records, having been married since October 1937.

“I am so glad. It’s thanks to my patience, really,” said Ms. Miyako with a laugh, posing with Mr. Masao and other family members in front of a framed certificate at the nursing home where they live.

“I am so grateful that it brings me tears,” she said.

The Matsumotos never managed to have a wedding as Japan was heading into war and Mr. Masao was sent overseas as a soldier, but that was no obstacle to having a big family — including a 25th great-grandchild who was born last month.

“They’ve entered the last chapter of their life. It was a honour (for them) to receive this award. I would love them to continue living a peaceful life,” said daughter Hiromi.

Japanese have among the longest life expectancies in the world.

The record for oldest married couple by aggregate age belongs to Norwegians Karl and Gurdren Dolven, who had a combined age of 210 years, 1 month and 34 days when Gurdrun died in 2004, according to Guinness World Records.

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Printable version | Aug 4, 2020 1:19:50 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/secret-to-japan-couples-80-years-of-marriage/article24865981.ece

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