A group of 178 men all sharing the name Tanaka Hirokazu convened in Tokyo on Saturday to break the Guinness World Record for the largest gathering of people with the same first and last name. The successful record attempt was organized by the Tanaka Hirokazu association. This group was established by a guy called Tanaka Hirokazu (surprise, surprise) in 1994. Mr Tanaka's inspiration came from seeing a namesake of his drafted into a professional Japanese baseball team. Ex-baseball player Tanaka Hirokazu was also part of Saturday's record meeting. The 178 new record holders span the generations, with the youngest being three years old, and the eldest being an octogenarian.
Association leader Tanaka Hirokazu, 53, was elated at breaking the world record. His association had tried twice before, in 2011 and 2017, to break the record. These attempts were thwarted largely because of the association's insistence on all participants having to have the same Chinese characters (kanji) in their name. Saturday's meeting had a more lenient criterion. The association deemed that anyone with the name Hirokazu Tanaka was eligible, regardless of the kanji used to spell their name. Mr Tanaka reflected on his world-beating achievement. He told reporters: "I never expected we would achieve such a ridiculous record." He added that the 178 Tanakas had "set an example of silliness".