On May 23, 2020, professional wrestler and Terrace House cast member, Hana Kimura passed away. Stardom Wrestling confirmed the news and prompted a multitude of tributes from fans and peers alike. Many others talked about the harmful environment online and how it affects public figures.
Following the confirmation of Kimura's death, fans and peers began asking for information. They sought out details about the tragic incident, as well as what led to her death. Several also wondered if some people would face criminal charges for online bullying that occurred after an episode of the Netflix reality series Terrace House.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741-741.
🌸Hana Kimura🌸 pic.twitter.com/HAfpggb5l9— 🌸Hydrangea🌺 (@outliercupcake) April 11, 2021
Following Kimura's death, an investigation into alleged cyberbullying took place. Japanese police identified a man who had sent several hateful messages to the professional wrestler. The messages included: "You have such an awful personality, is your life worth living?" and "Hey, hey. When will you die?" The police have issued criminal charges against the man for his "particularly malicious" posts and issued a fine of 9,000 yen.prevnext
Cause of Death
When news surfaced that Kimura had passed away, several people responded and asked for a cause. The sheer number of hateful messages from social media users led police to believe that the late wrestler had died by suicide. Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio obtained some details and learned that Kimura had ingested hydrogen sulfide.prevnext
The fine issued to the unidentified bully upset several people, who said that it was far too lenient. Kimura's mother, Kyoko Kimura, has since filed a lawsuit seeking more than $20,000 in damages from the man. She also announced the launch of Remember Hana, an organization created to help fight cyberbullying.prevnext
According to Fight Game Media, a private wake for Kimura took place and featured several of her peers. Figures such as Akira Hokuto, Chigusa Nagayo, Manami Toyota, Aja Kong, Mima Shimoda, and Etsuko Mita all attended the ceremony. Current stars like Meiko Satomura and Hiroyo Matsumoto were also on hand. Many people brought pink flowers to the ceremony, which was Buddhist.prevnext
Prior to her death, Kimura posted and then deleted images that referenced cyberbullying. These posts created considerable concern among wrestling fans, especially in light of the thousands of hateful messages directed at her. In a series of several tweets, she wrote: "Nearly 100 frank opinions every day. I couldn't deny that I was hurt. I'm dead. Thank you for giving me a mother. It was a life I wanted to be loved. Thank you to everyone who supported me. I love it. I'm weak, I'm sorry. I don't want to be a human anymore. It was a life I wanted to be loved. Thank you everyone, I love you. Bye."prevnext
The incident that sparked the cyberbullying occurred during an episode of the reality series Terrace House. A castmate, Kai Kobayashi, ruined her wrestling outfit, so she responded by slapping the hat off of his head. However, this moment was allegedly staged by the show's producers. They wanted Kimura to slap Kobayashi in the face as part of the new "aggressive" personality, but she opted for the hat as a compromise.prevnext
Kimura primarily wrestled as part of the Japanese promotion, Stardom Wrestling, but she made an impact on other companies. Following news of her death, All Elite Wrestling and several other promotions posted tributes to the 22-year-old. Many wrestlers also shared stories of personal interactions with Kimura. Sasha Banks even wore a custom armband honoring the late wrestler during SmackDown.prev