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Eiko Hiruma, a 95-year-old pharmacist, has broken the Guinness World Records title for oldest practising pharmacist.

Eiko had been working for over 70 years since she had graduated from pharmaceutical school, and she now works at Hiruma Pharmacy Azusawa Branch in Tokyo, alongside her grandson Kojiro Hiruma.

Kojiro, who came up with the idea of applying for this record, says he is surprised with his grandmother's energy despite her age. 

"She hardly takes a break. She comes to work from 8:30 a.m. Monday to Saturday. Young people often say "I'm tired" these days, but I hardly hear that from her. I think that's amazing."

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Born on 6 November 1923 to a father who also worked as a pharmacist, she grew up watching her father work with medicine before deciding to follow in his footsteps.

Apart from her job of providing medicine as prescribed by doctors, she chats with her customers intimately at length: sometimes the conversation lasts around 30 minutes! Her compassion gave emotional support to those who came to her pharmacy.

"I always try to do my best to talk with patients and embrace whatever that come of it - whether it be about serious things or lighthearted things like fashion," she said. "There was a time I encouraged someone from an illness and he really listened to my advice. I still remember the day when he went back in shape telling me he is happier than ever. 

"When I work together with our customers, and when they tell me they like coming back to our pharmacy, I feel glad that I've become a pharmacist."

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Seeing his grandmother receive a Guinness World Records title, Kojiro hopes that it will encourage other people who are struggling to find meaning in their lives.

"Being awarded for keeping your head down and continue with what you are doing every day is great. I think many older people these days ask themselves 'what am I working for', or even 'what am I living for'. I hope my grandmother sets an example to such people."

When asked "what would you like to do from here on", Eiko (who never in her dreams expected to receive an award like this) said: "I just want to continue working, everyday unchanged."

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