Messages from Netflix reality show cast members suggest bullying contributed to the young pro-wrestler’s death.

People in Japan have been shocked by the news that Hana Kimura, a pro-wrestler and one of the current members of Netflix’s Terrace House reality show, has died at the age of 22.

World Wonder Wing Stardom, the female wrestling league in Japan which Kimura belonged to, made the announcement on 23 May on both their English and Japanese-language Twitter accounts.

While the cause of Kimura’s death is yet to be officially announced, fans believe cyberbullying is largely to blame, as the TV star’s social media accounts had attracted a noticeable number of hateful comments, particularly after “The Costume Incident” recently aired on the show. During the incident, Kimura was seen losing her temper at fellow housemate Kai, who had shrunk her cherished, expensive wrestling costume after failing to check the washing machine before doing a load of his own.

While many fans felt the outburst was warranted, especially as tensions had been simmering between the housemates over Kai’s failure to contribute to chores and payments for recent outings, a number of online haters saw it as an opportunity to heap hate comments on Kimura. With the cast currently out of the house and in their own homes due to coronavirus countermeasures, Kimura’s exposure to hurtful online comments had increased, and fans expressed concern after Kimura posted a series of troubling posts on 23 May.

Her last post on Instagram shows a photo of herself with her cat, posted with no message but with text over the photo that says, “I love you, live a long and happy life. I’m sorry.”

The final post on her Instagram stories included another photo with her cat, with text across it that read “sayonara” (“goodbye”).

The below photos were uploaded to her official Twitter account on 23 May, after a tweet showing her self-harming and apologising for “being weak” when dealing with the “100 or so opinions” she receives from people online every day was taken off her account.

The above tweet, which was posted without any message, shows Kimura with her kitten.

Fans and fellow wrestlers from around the world were shocked to hear news that Kimura, the daughter of former professional wrestler Kyoko Kimura, had passed away so suddenly.

Today, Kimura’s castmates from the show also took to social media to express their sadness. Fellow housemate Giuseppe Durato (“Peppe“), who lived with Kimura on the show until his departure from the house in December last year, left a series of posts on his Instagram stories dedicated to the moments the two shared together. He posted the below image with the message, “It hurts that I can’t ever see you again.”

John Kimverlu Tupas (“Tupas“), said he was shocked by Kimura’s passing, with their last communication being just one week ago. While he says he’s been lost for words since he heard the news, he also says this isn’t ‘goodbye’ but ‘see you later’ and he will never forget “the beautiful strength of that one Hana [“Hana” means “flower” in Japanese] that bloomed in the ring”.

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花へ。 訃報の知らせを受けた際、 僕はただただ戸惑うことしかできず 言葉が出ませんでした。 それは今も変わりません。 あまりにも突然のお別れでびっくりしました。 初めて花の試合を観た時とてもすごい迫力で圧巻され大きく感動してLINEを送ったの覚えています。 2週間程前、女子プロもいつかアメトークで特集されるようになりたいね。と言ってたじゃん。 もっと花のプロレスが観たかった。 そして最後のやり取りは1週間前でした。悔しいよ、ひたすらに悔しい。 リング上に咲いていた綺麗な力強い 一輪の花は決して忘れません。 どうか安らかに。 さよならは言わないよ。またね。 ご冥福を心からお祈り致します。 トパス

A post shared by Tupas Johnkimverlu (@tupasjohn_1_13) on

Violetta Razdumina (“Vivi“) said: “Please, somebody say I’m just watching the movie 13 Reasons Why… somebody say I’m just having a bad dream and when I wake up you’ll be in the bed next to me… I’m so sorry I couldn’t help you.”

Emika Mizukoshi, who left the show in February, shared photos of Kimura on Instagram with a long, heartbreaking message.

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あの日の夜中、 たまたま遅くまで起きていて 彼女がストーリーを更新していて 何気なくDMを送りました。 彼女からの返信はいつもと様子が 違くて、途中から返信も来なくなって、 気になってTwitterの投稿を見て 異変に気づき、すぐに自宅を飛び出し 彼女の家に向かいました。 家に着いてもそこに姿は無かったので、 病院に向かいました。 病院に着いたら、変わり果てた彼女が居ました。 向かっている最中、私はどこかで 生きてるだろうと思い込んでいました。 そして、何事もなかったとしても 抱きしめようと思っていました。 "あなたが、こういう状況になったら いつでも駆けつける仲間がいるんだよ"って、 "あなたが自分に傷を付けてもいいのは リングの上だけだよ" って伝えようと思っていました。 卒業したら旅行に行こうねって、 一緒に潰れるまでお酒を飲もうねって、 また、ご飯も行こうねって 約束をしていました。 私もテラスハウスに出て、 誹謗中傷を受け、傷付きました。 その様子も配信されていたので 知ってる人もいると思います。 "テレビに出てるから仕方ない" "傷付くくらいなら出るな" "死ね"、"出て行け" 沢山言われました。 でもね、表に立つ仕事を している人もみんな、 人間なんです。 感情があるんです。 言葉は本当に、凶器になります。 表に出ているから仕方ない、 覚悟が足りない、 メンタルが弱い。 そんな問題じゃないんです。 いわゆる有名な人には何を言ってもいい、 そんな風潮を払拭しなければいけません。 どんなに悔やんでも、 彼女は帰ってきません。 もう笑顔を見ることもできないし、 一緒にご飯を食べることもできない。 最後の姿が頭から離れません。 いつも笑顔が素敵な彼女が あんな姿になってしまっただなんて。 あの姿が最後だなんて 思いたくない、信じたくないよ。 花ちゃん。 言い合いもしたね。でも、 沢山買い物に行ったり 映画を見たりお出かけもしたね。 楽しかったね。 いつもふざけあって、 時には励まし合ったよね。 プロレスの試合中のあなたは 本当にかっこよかった。 でも、恋愛をしている姿は 本当に可愛かった。 もう、あなたに会えないと思うと 辛くてたまりません。 どうか、どうか 安らかに眠ってください。 ゆっくり、休んでね。 もうあなたを傷付ける人はいないよ。 出会ってくれて、 ありがとう。 助けられなくて、ごめんなさい。 心よりご冥福をお祈りいたします。

A post shared by 𝙴𝙼𝙸𝙺𝙰 𝙼𝙸𝚉𝚄𝙺𝙾𝚂𝙷𝙸 (@iamemika21) on

The message above reads:

“In the middle of that night, I happened to stay up late and she was updating her Instagram story so I casually sent her a DM. She usually doesn’t take long to reply, so when I didn’t hear anything from her I became concerned and when I saw her Twitter post, I noticed something was out of the ordinary so I immediately left my house and headed over to her place. When I got to her place, she wasn’t there so I headed to the hospital. When I got to the hospital, there was a girl who was completely different. On the way to the hospital, the whole time I was thinking ‘Maybe she’s alive somewhere’. I was thinking, even if nothing’s happened, I’ll wrap her up in my arms and hug her. I was thinking of telling her, ‘If you get into this type of situation, there are always people you can turn to’ and ‘The only time you can hurt yourself is in the ring’.”

She went on to say:

“When I left Terrace House, I was also hurt by slander… lots of people said ‘Die’ and ‘Go away’, or ‘You’re on TV so it’s to be expected’ and ‘Don’t go on TV if you can’t handle it’. But even people who work in the limelight are human. We have emotions. Words really become weapons. The problem isn’t that you’re mentally weak or you can’t hack it or you’re out there so you you should take it. We have to dispel this trend of thinking it’s okay to say anything you like to so-called famous people.”

Basketballer Ryo Tawatari, who left the house in February, echoed Mizukoshi’s words on the dangers of bullying.

The tweet above reads:

“How come you can judge people you’ve never met and only seen on screen? Did they do something to you directly that you didn’t like? What do you know? Are you that great? Are you perfect? You don’t know what type of thoughts every individual has as they live their lives every day. You don’t know their anxieties. You don’t know if they have a past.”

▼ “Also, before you talk about the lives of others, live your life first.”

Reina Triendl, one of the Terrace House presenters, posted this message, in Japanese and English, on her Instagram account.

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花ちゃんの訃報に関して、 何らかの方法で花ちゃんを守ってあげることができたのではないかと、心を痛めております。  そして、人が人を不用意に傷つけることなく、もっと愛のある優しい世界をつくることはできないものだろうかと、考えています。  心よりご冥福をお祈り申し上げます。   The death of Hana Kimura is a real tragedy and, as a member of the Terrace House team I sincerely wonder whether I could have done more to better protected Hana in some way.  Also, I wonder whether it is possible for us all, off-line and especially also on-line, to create a kinder, more loving world in which we do not hurt and damage others, even inadvertently.  My thoughts and prayers today are with you, Hana, and with your family and friends.

A post shared by トリンドル玲奈 / Reina Triendl (@toritori0123) on

Terrace House sent out a tweet on their official Japanese account which read:

“We are lost for words over the news of Ms Hana Kimura’s sudden death. We would like to extend our deepest sympathy to her family. May she rest in peace.”

Terrace House also announced that the episode of the show scheduled to be broadcast on Fuji TV on 25 May has been suspended, as have the episodes scheduled to be distributed on Netflix on 26 May and 2 June.

Often described as a more sedate version of the TV show Big Brother, which doesn’t have a localised Japanese version, Terrace House is a Japanese reality show that puts singles together in a luxury house, with their goal being to find love and realise their dreams.

Kimura, who impressed both viewers and her housemates with her talent for wrestling, said one of the motivating factors that led her to join the show was the fact that she wanted more people to become interested in wrestling. She certainly achieved that with her exciting performances, and fans are now vowing to never forget the star by supporting the wrestling world while also taking a stand against online bullying.

If you or someone you know is in Japan and having suicidal thoughts, there are people here to help. Click here for more info.

Source: Jin
Featured image: Instagram/tupasjohn_1_13 

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