TOKYO, July 10 (UPI) -- Japan's latest pop stars dance in traditional kimonos to the music from the Okinawa region, but they are taking the country by storm for another reason – their average age is 84.
KBG84 has sold out concerts in Japan, and have even produced a major hit with their single, "Come on and Dance, Kohama Island," The Telegraph reported Friday.
Kohama is a far-flung island in Japan's southernmost region of Okinawa, and the band's name is a parody of the name of popular Japanese girl band AKB48.
Some of the women in KBG84 are old enough to be the grandmothers, or great-grandmothers of the teens who sing and dance in AKB48, The Asahi Shimbun reported.
The senior group of performers is delivering a message of hope for Japan's aging population.
"The secret of our longevity is that we come together to have fun like this," said 90-year-old Kimi Hanashiro, the leader of the group.
Other members said the performance opportunity has given them a new life. One band member who had never left Okinawa in recent memory said performing in Tokyo and Osaka was an experience she would never forget.
The oldest member in the group, 97-year-old Haru Yamashiro, said she uses a walking frame, but looks after her health by staying active as possible – cleaning, cooking and staying cool in the shade.
During their hit concerts, however, members throw down their canes and get down to show business.
As the group expands its repertoire, they have added faster pop songs, and the group's staffers keep a close watch during their performances.
Japan's Health Ministry estimates the elderly population, age 65 or older, is to increase to 38 percent by 2055.