178 people with the same name gather in Japan to set world record

Remembering names at a party is always a task. However, that was not at all the case in this gathering in Tokyo, where all 178 guests were called Hirokazu Tanaka! This gathering managed to break a Guinness World Record previously held by 164 Martha Stewarts who got together in the US in 2005.

Hirokazu Tanakas from all walks of life came together for the record attempt, including a three-year-old toddler, an 80-year-old and even one who flew to Japan from Hanoi, Vietnam.

The gathering was arranged by Hirokazu Tanaka, a corporate employee from Tokyo. Japanese newspaper reported that Tanaka, 53, first became interested in people who had the same name as his in 1994 after he saw baseball player Hirokazu Tanaka get into Osaka Kintetsu Buffaloes, a Japanese pro baseball team. He said he felt “thunderous joy” at a name he had previously considered mundane.

Interestingly, the baseball player was also part of the record-breaking gathering.

He began 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 men, who were dressed in matching T-shirts bearing their names, remained seated in a crowded theatre for five minutes as required by Guinness until a representative from the organisation announced a new record. To distinguish themselves, each individual in the group was given an alias based on their interests, work, or favourite food, like ‘Sunglasses’, ‘Hot Pot’, or ‘Triathlon’, with the founding Tanaka designated as “Semi-Leader.”

Watch the video from the official Twitter account here:

Originally planned for 2020 to coincide with the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, the world record attempt was, like the Games, postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Tanakas had already failed twice to beat the Martha Stewarts, most recently in 2017 when only 87 showed up.

Previous challenges were thwarted by the association’s adherence to stricter criteria in which all Hirokazu Tanakas had to share the same characters to read their names.

‘Semi-Leader’ said that they had managed to create a record in silliness by doing nothing except being present at the same place at the same time.

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