Professional wrestler Hana Kimura died by suicide on May 23 after cyberbullying incidents on social media. Kimura's mother, Kyoko, reached out to the parent company of Stardom Wrestling for their help finding the truth about Kimura's death. However, she says that Bushiroad refused to provide any assistance.
"I asked Bushiroad for cooperation to find out the truth, but they refused," Kyoko told Shukan Bunshun in a translated interview. "They have told me to hold memorial events and make money by selling goods. After the incident, those who used her to make money ran away to avoid their responsibility. I want them to feel responsible. I strongly hope that no one will have the same experience as my daughter in the future." Kyoko also said that Kimura had to pay a "performance fee" to appear on Terrace House.
Kyoko provided several details about her daughter's death in a recent interview with Shukan Bunshun. She said that Terrace House's producers pushed for her daughter to play a villain role in the reality series. Kyoko said they even orchestrated an incident where Kimura slapped a hat off Kai Kobayashi's head after he ruined her wrestling outfit. The show's staff allegedly wanted Kimura to slap her costar in the face, but she opted to hit the hat.
"On May 15th, Hana celebrated her grandmother's birthday with her grandmother & mother," Farrah Hasnain, a writer for the Japan Times, tweeted after translating the interview. "When her mom, Kyoko Kimura, was driving her home, she broke down into tears. She told her mom that Terrace House was forcing her to behave more obnoxiously on-camera for views."
The interview revealed that Kimura also told her mother that she wanted to act professionally on camera. However, the producers pressured her to behave violently instead. "They told her to play up her Heel persona from 1 to 100," Kyoko said. She added that Kimura did not want to get violent or slap anybody due to it being wrong and unprofessional.
Bushiroad reportedly refused to help Kyoko, but another figure wants to team up with her. Kobayashi recently translated a blog post that described attending Kimura's funeral. In the text, he said that his goal is to start an NPO group with Kyoko under the late wrestler's name to assist those getting bullied.
If you or someone you know are 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.