What's the secret to 80 years of marriage? A wife’s patience
With a combined age of 208, the Matsumotos have entered the record books
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 Miyako with a laugh, posing with 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 because Japan was heading into war and 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, with data from Japan’s health ministry showing they rank number one on average at about 84, a smidgeon behind people from Hong Kong.
The record for the oldest married couple by aggregate age still belongs to Norwegians Karl and Gurdren Dolven, who had a combined age of 210 years, one month and 34 days when Gurdrun died in 2004, according to Guinness World Records.