Hana Kimura, who was the most charismatic wrestler in the Stardom promotion and one of two women the company was planning to be built around, passed away today at the age of 22.
No details are available but she had posted what came across like a suicide message yesterday that had people concerned as well as photos of her arms being self mutilated.
The death appears to be the first result of a pro wrestler's depression coming from social media cyber bullying.
She wrote, "Nearly 100 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 alive anymore. It was a life I wanted to be loved. Thank you everyone. I love you. Bye."
Kimura was the only child of Kyoko Kimura, a pro wrestling star who had retired in 2017. She grew up around the business and started at the age of 18, although she held the comedy DDT Ironman Heavymetalweight title at the age of seven in a DDT comedy sketch.
Kimura had started in September on Terrace House, a popular Japanese reality show that airs worldwide. She was becoming a celebrity off the show because of her unique look and because she was physically stronger than most Japanese women. Stardom, the leading women's wrestling company in Japan, under new ownership, had planned to try and push women's wrestling mainstream around Kimura and Giulia with the idea they were the two most marketable stars. Of the two, Kimura was by far the most charismatic and the better wrestler of the two.
The first step of the push was an appearance in the opening match on the New Japan January 4, 2020, show at the Tokyo Dome. It was the first women's match at the Tokyo Dome since 2002. Before the pandemic, Stardom was planning a much bigger and higher profile show with her, as the leader of the Tokyo Cyber Squad, to feud with Giulia after a split in the tag team match on the Dome show.
In an incident on Terrace House filmed in early January, a male housemate named Kai washed his clothes while her outfit that she wore at the Tokyo Dome was in the washer and then threw it in the dryer and ruined the outfit. She lost her temper and knocked his hat off his head.
Since that incident aired, she had been getting hate messages from people all over the world and it sent her into depression. It was getting worse in recent weeks. Because she had big shoulders for a Japanese woman because of her athletic background, even before the incident she was getting some negative reactions.
She was flooded with support on social media over the past 12 hours.