“Unscripted” Netflix reality TV show comes under fire following claims of housemate manipulation.

On 23 May, pro-wrestler Hana Kimura, one of the starring members of the Terrace House: Tokyo 2019-2020 reality TV show on Netflix, was found dead in her Tokyo apartment from an apparent suicide. She was 22 years old.

Her death came shortly after “The Costume Incident” aired on Terrace House, which saw Kimura lose her temper at Kai Kobayashi — a fellow housemate with whom tensions had been simmering for weeks — when he accidentally shrank Kimura’s expensive wrestling costume in the washing machine.

While many viewers sided with Kimura over the incident, others took it as an opportunity to heap hate comments at the star online, prompting many to believe cyberbullying was largely responsible for her death. However, last week, Kimura’s mother came out with the explosive revelation that staff on the show had actually encouraged her daughter to amp up the drama over her ruined wrestling outfit, even going so far as to suggest it would be fine for her to “basically slap the guy across the face”.

Kimura posed with her adopted kitten Karaage-kun on 23 May.


This week, another claim of staff manipulating a member on the show to create drama has surfaced, this time from Kobayashi himself. The claim was made in weekly magazine Shuukan Bunshun, where Kobayashi spoke about a scene from episode 33, which aired on 18 February, showing Kimura and 25-year-old Kobayashi on a date together at an indoor trampoline park.

Kobayashi told Shuukan Bunshun:

“The show’s Assistant Director came over and casually whispered to me, ‘Just jumping on the trampoline isn’t interesting.’ Then I was instructed to ‘touch her breasts or something’. I refused, saying ‘That’s not right’ but these types of extreme requests were a daily occurrence. What the staff want is love and incidents, and they were aiming for things to blow up and go viral on social media.”

Kobayashi also backed up claims by Hana’s mother that the drama in The Costume Incident was staged, saying Hana told him staff had encouraged her to amp up the tension in the scene. Leaked Line messages from Hana to her friends published in Shuukan Bunshun also attest to this.

These bombshell revelations indicate that a lot of the drama on the famously unscripted show was actually staged, with little regard for personal repercussions for housemates.

However, the show’s Japanese broadcaster, Fuji TV, says they have looked into the matter and found no evidence to support claims that Hana was encouraged to slap her co-star. They also say there is nothing to indicate that any expression of feelings on the show was falsely portrayed.

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: Hachima Kikou
Featured image: Twitter/@hanadayo0903 

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