Hana Kimura – Suicide
1997-2020 (Age 22)
Hana Kimura, a rising star in the world of women’s wrestling and a performer who many fans and wrestling writers saw as destined to become a main eventer.
Tragically, her appearance on the reality show Terrace House would increase her fame, but also lead to a backlash on social media that likely led to her suicide.
A Second-Generation Star
Hana Kimura was born September 3rd, 1997 in Japan. The daughter of Japanese female wrestler Kyoko Kimura and an unknown Indonesian man, she grew up wanting to wrestle (in fact winning a comedy title when she was eight years old).
Hana’s childhood was reportedly troubled as some schoolmates bullied her for being Indonesian and Japanese. Kimura trained at Wrestle-1’s Professional Wrestling University, later debuting for the promotion.
Kimura received praise for her beauty, her athleticism, and her skill in the ring, eventually working in World Wonder Ring Stardom and appearing at New Japan Pro Wrestling’s WrestleKingdom 14.
Kimura’s skills earned her acclaim in a number of promotions in Japan as well as North America.
In 2019, Kimura performed at the G1 supercard in Madison Square Garden, an event featuring some of the tops stars of Japan and Ring of Honor.
Kimura wrestled like a veteran, but her career was only beginning—or so the world thought.
In 2019, Hana appeared on the reality series Terrace House: Tokyo which featured three men and three women searching for romance while they shared a house together.
The show was distributed in nearly 200 countries and proved to be popular amongst U.S. viewers. In 2018, the show ranked #6 in the 10 best programs selected by Time Magazine.
During one of the show’s segments, Hana confronted a male housemate Kai, who had ruined her ring outfit, knocking Kai’s hat off. Hana’s actions were criticized and she received a barrage of hurtful messages on social media.
It has been suggested that Hana Kimura suffered from depression and self-confidence issues and that a combination of the sheer volume of venom directed at her on social media coupled with the pressures caused by the COVID-19 quarantine led her to take her life. It was noted that the majority (if not all) of the negative comments directed at her were made by fans of the Terrace House: Tokyo program.
According to the June 1, 2020 issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Kimura tweeted:
“Nearly 100 frank opinions every day. I couldn’t deny they hurt me. ‘Die,’ ‘you are disgusting’, ‘you should disappear.’ I believed these things about myself more than they did. Thank you, Mother, for the gift of life. My whole life I wanted to be loved. Thank you to everyone who supported me. I love you all. I’m sorry for being weak.”
Hana Kimura also posted one final Instagram message. The post shows Hana with a kitten that she had gotten a week prior, and translates to “I love you, have a long, happy life. I’m sorry.”
Despite the press linking Kimura’s suicide as a direct result of her cyber-bullying, it’s unknown whether there was a clear cause and effect. Regardless, Hana Kimura’s death renewed conversations about cyber-bullying.
UFC Hall of Famer and former WWE Superstar Ronda Rousey took to Instagram to stress the consequences of cyber-bullying:
“I know the trolls that spend their days harassing others online are battling their own mental demons, but please find a way to release your venom in a way that won’t poison others. …even a straw’s weight can be the one to break a camel’s back. Just the tiniest push could be what sends someone over the edge.”
Hana Kimura Death
On Saturday May 30, 2020, funeral services were held for Hana Kimura.
She was only 22 years old when she passed away, but her death would have consequences, serving as a reminder that cyber-bullying can do much more than hurt people’s feelings.
Fuji TV cancelled Terrace House: Tokyo following Kimura’s death while Japanese lawmakers pursued legislation to reduce online bullying.
Sadly, suicide is not exactly an uncommon demise in the world of pro wrestling.
Hana Kimura Tributes
After Hana Kimura’s death was announced, tributes began pouring in on social media. Many big names in the wrestling world took to Twitter to send condolences to Kimuara’s family, as well making a point to condemn cyber bulling.
It absolutely breaks my heart how cruel people can be on social media. It was an amazing honor to know Hana Kimura. She was an amazing girl with the kindest soul and immense passion and work ethic. I’m at a loss of words over this tragedy. Rest In Peace my friend.
— Tessa Blanchard (@Tess_Blanchard) May 23, 2020
I didn’t know Hana Kimura but I thought she was immensely charismatic and talented. The circumstances of her passing are incredibly sad.
— Florida Man (@WWEBigE) May 23, 2020
Distraught. I don’t even know what to say or feel. Numb. I can’t express it. RIP Hana Kimura. Such a wonderful human being. The gaijin helper. All the potential. A beautiful soul. Kind. I just can’t even put in to fucking words how upsetting this is. I hope you found peace 🙏🏻
— JAMIE HAYTER • ジェイミー ヘイター (@jmehytr) May 23, 2020
Hana Kimura just passed away. There are no other details at the moment but this is a death that can be blamed on the cruelty of social media and it’s a subject that really needs addressing.
— Dave Meltzer (@davemeltzerWON) May 23, 2020
AEW and the wrestling community mourn the passing of Hana Kimura. May she Rest In Peace, and our thoughts are with her family, her friends, and her fans. pic.twitter.com/gouuu3xG5y
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEWrestling) May 23, 2020
We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Hana Kimura.
Hana was a beautiful and talented star!
Words are powerful.
Please be kind.
— ROH Wrestling (@ringofhonor) May 23, 2020
Our condolences to the friends and family of Hana Kimura.