Namesake gathering in Tokyo smashes world record
Remembering names at a party is never easy, except at a gathering in Tokyo, Japan on Saturday where all 178 guests were called Hirokazu Tanaka – breaking a record previously held by 164 Martha Stewarts.
Hirokazu Tanakas from all walks of life came together for the record attempt, including a 3-year-old toddler, an 80-year-old and even one who flew in from Hanoi, Vietnam.
Wearing identical T-shirts emblazoned with their name, they sat still in a packed theater for five minutes, as per the Guinness rules, before an official from the organization declared a new record.
It was a dream come true for 53-year-old Hirokazu Tanaka, the man who brought his namesakes together after years of strenuous efforts and two failed attempts.
The Guinness World Record for the “largest gathering of people with the same first and last name” previously belonged to 164 people called Martha Stewart who filled the set of a TV show in New York City in 2005.
Tanaka’s quest for the feat dates back to 1994, when he stumbled upon news about a baseball prodigy also called Hirokazu Tanaka – and felt “thunderous joy” at a name he had previously considered mundane.
He began tirelessly scouring the nation for his namesakes, founding the “Hirokazu Tanaka campaign,” a blossoming network that once even released a jokey song celebrating their strange friendship.
The Tanakas had already failed twice to beat the Martha Stewarts, most recently in 2017 when only 87 showed up.