Hana Kimura has died. A prominent performer on Japan’s pro wrestling circuit, Kimura was also a cast member on the most recent season of Netflix’s reality dating series Terrace House. Per Variety, no cause of death has been released, although unofficial translations of social media posts made shortly before her death appear to contain thoughts of suicide or self-harm. Kimura was 22.
The daughter of established Japanese wrestler Kyoko Kimura, Kimura entered the world of professional wrestling at a young age, performing in events with Japan’s Wrestle-1 promotion when she was just 18. (In fact, she won the Ironman Heavymetalweight Championship title when she was only 8, but since that particular honor is for a comedy promotion and has also been won by a cat, Spider-Man, and the title belt itself, it probably says less about her later success than one might assume.) Among other events, she wrestled both with and against her mother on a number of occasions, before the elder Kimura retired in 2017. Hana would formally sign on with Wrestle-1 a few years later, before making the move to another promotion, Stardom, in 2019.
Kimura joined the cast of Terrace House—in which several young men and women share a Tokyo home in the hopes of finding romance—for its 2019-2020 season. Although the show rotates cast members out regularly, she was still on the series when both it and her wrestling appearances were shut down due to COVID-19. Although the series has since resumed production, Netflix has announced that it will delay the release of new episodes in the wake of Kimura’s death.
Some of Kimura’s final social media posts apparently referenced cyberbullying against her; both Japanese pro wrestling and Terrace House have been called out for sometimes sporting aggressive fanbases that frequently critique performers’ behavior. Kimura’s death was confirmed late last night by Stardom’s official social media account.