STARDOM NEWS: Beloved wrestler Hana Kimura dead at 22
SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)…
Stardom confirmed today that top star Hana Kimura has passed away at the age of 22, having seemingly taken her own life.
Around 3 A.M. Saturday morning in Japan Kimura posted a series of tweets that have since been deleted. Photos of her wrists, slashed and bleeding, were accompanied by a handful of messages loosely translated as:
Nearly 100 frank opinions every day. I can’t deny that I was hurt. I’m dead. Thank you for giving me a mother. The life I wanted was to be loved. Thank you to everyone who supported me. I love it but I’m weak. I’m sorry.
I don’t want to be human anymore.
I wanted to be loved.
Thank you everyone. I love you.
Kimura had been bullied as a child due to growing up half-Japanese, half-Indonesian in Japan. Becoming a public figure in wrestling at the age of 19 brought on more cyberbullying and things escalated after she joined the cast of popular reality show Terrace House in September 2019. In the days leading up to her death Kimura had been reposting hate-filled tweets that viewers had sent her.
Kimura’s final tweets came early Saturday morning in Japan but mid-afternoon Friday in North America, alerting Kimura’s American friends and fans first. Many of them quickly tried to get in contact with people in Japan. Former Stardom and current WWE wrestler Kairi Sane says that she and Io Shirai reached out to Kimura’s friend Jungle Kyona and Stardom president Rossy Ogawa. Kyona reportedly rushed to Kimura’s apartment immediately but was too late. Stardom confirmed Kimura’s death later that day.
Kimura, born September 1997, was a second-generation wrestler. Her mother Kyoko Kimura wrestled for 14 years for Stardom, Ice Ribbon, and other promotions. The two held the Artist Of Stardom trios titles with Kagetsu and Kyoko’s final match of her career was a singles contest against her daughter with Hana’s father refereeing.
Hana debuted March 2016 at the age of 19 and wrestled for Wrestle-1, Sendai Girls, Ring Of Honor, and Stardom. Joining the top heel stable Oedo Tai would prove to be her breakout role and her subsequent departure from the unit and turning on Kagetsu in the fall of 2018 was one of the biggest angles in the past few years of Stardom.
By spring 2019 Kimura led her own stable, a cyber-goth unit called Tokyo Cyber Squad. In a promotion where every roster member was divided into one of four units, being given such a position was a huge endorsement of Kimura. She would go on to win the 2019 5Star Grand Prix, a round-robin tournament that functions as the most prestigious annual tradition in the promotion. She was also one of a handful of Stardom women to wrestle in Madison Square Garden as part of the ROH/NJPW G1 Supercard as well as competing in the dark match at this year’s NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 14 in the Tokyo Dome.
Kimura’s final match was a time limit draw against Mayu Iwatani in the 2020 Cinderella Tournament on March 24. Shock and condolences have been coming in across social media from Kimura’s friends and fans. There is no doubt that she would have been the top star for Stardom in the next year and had the charisma and ingenuity to transcend the promotion.