Hana Kimura, a pro wrestler with the Japanese wrestling promotion Stardom, is dead at 22. Stardom confirmed the sad news on their official Twitter account.
While the promotion did not give a cause of death and asked that people be “respectful” and allow time to process, Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer revealed that she died by ingesting hydrogen sulfide. More details were not released at the request of her mother.
“The death was actually at 4:00 am. She had ingested hydrogen sulfide. So that was the cause of death and not too much else is going to be released because her mother did not want much more released.”
Meltzer had stated that Kimura’s death appears to be due to depression stemming from social media cyberbullying. Kimura’s Twitter activity on Friday, before her death was reported, had many concerned about her state of mind and suspecting that she was self-harming. One tweet allegedly read like a suicide note.
“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.”
Kimura had been the target of attacks online after she became a cast member on the reality show, Terrace House. Kimura joined the show in September while still being a part of Stardom and wrestling.
The trouble began when, in an episode filmed in January, she hit a male cast member called Kai. Kai had added his own load of clothes to the washing machine when Kimura had her wrestling outfit in it and ruined it.
After the incident she began getting hate messages which depressed her. Even before the incident, however, she was already the target of criticism due to her being “bigger” and more athletic than the “ideal” Japanese woman.
Wrestlers and fans from around the world have been left shocked by the saddening news of Hana Kimura’s death and many have spoken out about the prevalent issue of cyberbullying.
Kimura is a second-generation professional wrestler and the daughter of retired joshi Kyoko Kimura. She started in the business at the age of 18 and was the leader of a faction called Tokyo Cyber Squad in Stardom. She was a Goddess of Stardom Champion once and Artist of Stardom Champion twice.
At the start of this year, she was part of New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Wrestle Kingdom 14 at the Tokyo Dome. Kimura was in a tag team match where she and her partner Giulia were defeated by Mayu Iwatani and Arisa Hoshiki.
Her last match, which was on March 24 at the Stardom Cinderella Tournament against Mayu Iwatani, ended in a draw.