Meet Japan’s Top ‘Granfluencers,’ The Stylish and Hilarious Seniors Who Are Stealing Your Thunder on Instagram

These senior accounts have the best content on the 'gram.

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On September 21, Japan celebrated Respect for the Aged Day, a holiday dedicated to the ever-growing senior population in the country and the wisdom, experience, patience and creativity that come with every extra candle on their birthday cakes. In recent years, this creativity has stretched to social media as well — platforms that clearly are no longer rocked by millennials. Here are ten of the best #instagrandma and #instagrandpa accounts to follow on Instagram for whenever you need a little emotional support and a search of confirmation that yes, everything will turn out okay in life! Enjoy!

1. @SLVR.TETSUYA: The 86-year-old fashion guru

 

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When Naoya Kudo decided to send off some of the branded clothes he no longer wore to his hometown in Akita Prefecture, it never occurred to him that they’d end up creating a social media sensation. Kudo’s grandpa Tetsuya, a retired teacher, thought that it’s a waste not to wear the clothes, so he decided to find a new owner for them: himself. One thing led to another and now grandson and grandpa are operating one of the most popular Instagram accounts from Japan, where grandpa Tetsuya is the one and only super fashion model. “Silver Tetsuya,” as he goes by, now has over 150,000 followers on Instagram, a few upcoming fashion photo exhibitions and a special feature in Vogue Japan. His Instagram profile says, “I tried my grandson’s clothes and, to my surprise, it wasn’t bad at all.” We love this account for so many reasons, but the grandson-granddad tandem is undeniably one of the main ones! 

Read our full article on Silver Tetsuya here

2. @kimiko_nishimoto: The 89-year-old who just wants to have fun 

 

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A master of hilarious selfies, Kimiko Nishimoto is an 89-year-old Kumamoto-native who thinks that life is all about having fun and being playful. A former hairdresser, Nishimoto first started photography in 2001 at the age of 72, but it wasn’t until she began to take hilariously staged photos of herself that she discovered her true passion in life. Now, a regular on Instagram, she has posed as a frog, a figure skater, a rabbit, has been under a moving car (while reading the morning paper) and chased by demons, wrapped in a garbage bag and floated in the air. Her photoshop skills are impressive, but her ability to take life less seriously than most folks her age (and ours, too!) is what has us addicted to her account. She has 224,000 followers and counting, and has been featured in a number of publications and exhibitions. 

3. Dj.sumirock: The oldest professional club DJ 

 

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Sumiko Iwamuro, aka DJ Sumirock, spins hot pans at a Chinese restaurant in the daytime, but at night she stands in a DJ booth rocking the floor at Shinjuku’s Decabar Z to a crowd of enthusiastic club-goers. Meet the Guinness-certified oldest professional club DJ, an 85-year-old DJ who doesn’t know what exhaustion feels. Besides her regular gig in Shinjuku, she also travels to clubhouses across the globe, including in Paris and Auckland. And even if she has a busy night ahead, she won’t take a day off from the restaurant. In an interview with the Guinness team, she said: “I don’t take any health supplements or do any exercises, but when I do something totally different, I feel energized.” While her Instagram presence is yet to grow, her presence at the club is as solid as it gets. 

4. @bonpon511: The couple that sets #relationshipgoals high 

 

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Couple Mr. Bon and Mrs. Pon joined Instagram in 2016 to show off their stylishly coordinated outfits, but they hardly expected at the time that this trial in life would make them instantly famous. Not only are they followed by over 820,000 people on Instagram, but they have been featured in articles, exhibitions, have published three books and have been featured in dozens of TV shows in Japan. Both in their 60s, the couple is celebrating their 40th anniversary this year — while looking forward to getting 1 million followers very soon. For what we know, these two have become the model for relationship goals for many of us. 

5. @kobehananoki: The 82-year-old stylish diva

 

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Fashion by profession, 82-year-old Mayumi Kimura, vows to continue looking stunningly fashionable at any age because she simply loves getting dressed up and feeling her most beautiful self. Effortless and simple elegance is her inspiration, which she puts into practice in her #ootd, which she regularly updates on her Instagram. Kimura, an owner of a fashion boutique in Kobe since 1974, says that she started Instagram to keep her alert, that she quit dyeing her hair in her early 60s and that sunglasses are the fashion item she can’t live without. Kimura has over 70,000 followers on Instagram.

6. @1000wave: The 96-year-old humble model 

 

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Another grandchild-grandparent force on Instagram, @1000wave is an account created by Chinami Mori, a young Japanese weaver and textiles artist, who uses her 96-year-old grandmother Emiko as a model. The always smiling and super charming Emiko san visits Chinami regularly at her studio, where she is photographed, much to the joy of the account’s over 450,000 followers. This account offers vivid colors and positivity to a level that can make your heart warm.  

7. @kazoku_ku: Slow family life in the countryside

 

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This heartwarming, day-to-day account belongs to a couple in their 70s who, with their son’s support, opened an Instagram account last year to keep track of the ordinary happy days they spend in the Japanese countryside. The two live with their adorable cat, who often takes center stage posing for their photos. Using the hashtag #WeReOldButStillWantToEnjoyInstagram (#高齢者でもインスタがしたいっ), the two say that their goal is to post at least once a day. Though it’s mostly their son who posts the images, the two are apparently studying how to manage the account themselves for when their son gets very busy with work. Although this account doesn’t have as many followers as it should, it’s so reassuring to watch the regular, peaceful days they spend as an old couple. 

8. @saikajapan: The hard-working boutique owner 

 

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Saikajapan is an account that started as a promotional tool for a fashion boutique in Hyogo Prefecture. When the owner started the account back in 2016, she was doing what many apparel shops do — post images of young models and products customers can buy at the store. But, not surprisingly, the account only got a few followers — until the owner took things in her hands and started posing as a model for her products herself. Since then, the account has seen a boost in followers who are quite clearly enjoying the stylish lady’s super adorable look and outfits. 

9. @yagieriko: The quirky owner of over 400 pairs of high heels 

 

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Eriko Yagi has walked some of the world’s most famous catwalks, has met some of the fashion industry’s highest-profile individuals and has been featured in a number of Japanese TV shows, all thanks to her quirky fashion style and 9-inch heels that, obviously, aren’t made for walking (mostly, for Instagramming!). The 64-year-old fashionista, who works as an accountant at a shipping company she runs with her husband, has a number of hobbies, including owning crazy colored (and priced!) skirts and shoes (she has over 400 pairs), making her own perfume and, occasionally, clothing too. To maintain that style, she runs 10k every morning and hits the gym for more than an hour every day — in addition to maintaining a low-carb diet. Yagi’s motto and advice to everyone is not to be influenced by others’ dressing style and think what you believe is beautiful. 

10. @tokuyo_ichigo: The nursery facility that has the picture-perfect smiles 

 

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The last account on our list doesn’t belong to a single individual but to all residents of the Aichi Prefecture-based nursing facility for the elderly, Ichigo. In a bid to entertain its residents and praise their staff for their hard work, the team at Ichigo opened an Instagram account to share the day-to-day life and special events at the facility, using the residents as models — which they have come to love and look forward to every day. The smiles and gentle vibe in these photos and videos have attracted over 210,000 followers, including many from abroad. 

Want to add someone to this list? Let us know in the comments below!  

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