My Reflections on the Suicide of Japanese Female Pro Wrestler Hana Kimura

With all that’s going on in the world right now–COVID-19 pandemic and mass protests across the country–it was easy to miss a bit of sports news (unless you’re a professional wrestling fan) last week negatively highlighting issues that have been plaguing the globe for some time now: online bullying and suicide. 

Japanese women’s pro wrestler Hana Kimura had committed suicide. She was only 22. 

World Wonder Ring Stardom, a Japanese-based women’s pro wrestling promotion which Kimura was a star on, tweeted last week: 

“Stardom fans, we are very sorry to report that our Hana Kimura has passed away,” Stardom wrote in a tweet. “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 was a reality TV show star on the hit Netflix series “Terrace House.” On that show, she reacted over an incident that caused an ensuing chain reaction from fans, who turned on her and attack her online, according to media reports

The online backlash is believed to be a contributing factor in Kimura’s mental health deterioration before her passing. 

Kimura–a second-generation pro wrestling standout whose mother is Kyoko Kimura, a legendary grappler in her own right–performed at a sold-out Madison Square Garden as part of a dual promotional collaboration between New Japan Pro-Wrestling and U.S. pro wrestling outfit Ring of Honor.

With her star rising, Kimura was chosen as one of only four women this past January to perform in front of a sold-out Tokyo Dome at New Japan’s Wrestle Kingdom event.

There was every reason to believe that Kimura could’ve achieved success on the United States pro wrestling circuit. WWE presently features former Stardom wrestlers Kairi Sane and Io Shirai, as well as Asuka, who’s the current RAW Women’s Champion.

What really bothers me is that the fans of “Terrace House” resorted to online torment all to quit over what happened on a show that’s meant for entertainment. 

No one really knows what private battles other people are going through at any given moment.

Moreover, instead of ridiculing someone for their overall beliefs, likes, race, sexual preferences (as long as it’s legal), and personal style, why can’t people just let others freely express themselves?

But I digress. I guess that this is something that has gone on for a long time and will continue to exist until more light is illuminated on the need for better mental health care and more overall human kindness.   

According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), in 2018, 1.4 million adults have attempted suicide, adult females reported a suicide attempt 1.5 times as often as males, and 48,344 Americans died as a result of suicide. 

Additionally, in 2015, suicide and self-injury cost the US $69 billion dollars. 

If you or some you know and love needs mental health help and suicide prevention services, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 and/or log onto the Trevor Project

— Jerry Del Priore









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