Japanese professional wrestler and Netflix star Hana Kimura dies aged 22

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Sunday, May 24, 2020

Kimura in 2019 (Image: Yoccy441)

Japanese female professional wrestler and reality television star Hana Kimura, age 22, has died, wrestling promotion World Wonder Ring Stardom (Stardom) announced yesterday. No cause of death was announced. Kimura reportedly made several post on social media suggesting she was a victim of cyber-bullying shortly before her death. Her final Instagram story post was a photograph of her and her cat with "goodbye" written as the caption.

Kimura was signed for Stardom at the time of her death, having joined them in 2019. Stardom's official statement yesterday read "Stardom fans, We are very sorry to report that our Hana Kimura has passed away. Please be respectful and allow some time for things to process, and keep your thoughts and prayers with her family and friends. We appreciate your support during this difficult time."

Kimura made her profesional wrestling debut in 2016 for promotion Wrestle-1. As well as Stardom she also wrestled for Senjo and JWP, the later where she won her first championship, the JWP Junior Championship. With Stardom she was a two-time Artist of Stardom champion and a one-time Goddess of Stardom champion. Her mother is professional wrestler Kyoko Kimura.

Outside of wrestling, Kimura was currently one of the stars on reality television show Terrace House. The Netflix show, which is currently on hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, sees three males and three females temporarily move in together. According to Wrestling Inc, she received online criticism for her appearances on the show. Sky News reported Netflix Japan due to Kimura's death have delayed releasing a new episode.

Wrestling sportswriter Dave Meltzer tweeted after hearing the news of her death. He said "Hana Kimura just passed away. There are no other details at the moment but this is a death that can be blamed on the cruelty of social media and it's a subject that really needs addressing".