Hana Kimura, a Japanese professional wrestler and reality star died on Saturday (23 May 2020). The 22-year-old was a cast member of Japanese reality show Terrace House which stopped filming its 2019-2020 season after Kimura’s death. World Wonder Ring Stardom, the professional wrestling organisation that represented her announced her death. According to Japanese media, a suicide note was found at her home in Tokyo and the late wrestler was facing cyber-bullying.
Kimura’s suicide upset fans around the world and it brought up the harsh reality that is cyber-bullying. Terrace House shared on its Twitter account that the production of the latest season will be suspended and that they take the issue (cyber-bullying) very seriously and would like to continue to respond earnestly. Prior to her death, Kimura uploaded a picture of herself and her cat on Instagram saying, “I love you. Live a happy, long life. I’m sorry.”
On the latest season of Terrace House, the show was filmed in a luxury residence in Tokyo. Kimura’s social media accounts have been flooded with comments calling her a villain. The authorities in Japan have promised to improve on anti-cyber-bullying measures in response. Terrace House is a reality show that features three men and three women living in a house without a script.
The show has garnered attention worldwide since its premiere on Netflix in 2015. It was originally produced by Japan’s Fuji TV in 2012 and now it is co-produced by Fuji and Netflix. Terrace House was put on hold since the outbreak of COVID-19 in April and it resumed airing in May. With the death of Kimura, the season’s upcoming episodes which were scheduled to air this week and the next were suspended again.
Kimura appeared to be an endearing person on the show with her pink hair and bubbly personality. She said that she joined the show to look for love. Viewers seemed to love her personality at first but then after an episode where Kimura confronted a housemate for accidentally ruining a wrestling costume of hers, viewers saw her in a different light. Fans went online to share their condolences to the late wrestler.
A fan wrote on Twitter that Kimura was such a refreshing and beautiful soul to see on Terrace House and that the fan’s heart is so sad right now (with her passing). Other fans said that they would not be able to watch the show anymore.
“[Terrace House] was a way for me to try and learn Japanese in a more fun and less academic way. The way social media bullies drove [her] to suicide is so incredibly heartbreaking for us,” said the fan. “There’s no way we can watch anymore.” /TISG