It’s 12:30 am and I can’t sleep. I can’t eat. I can barely breathe through the sobs and tears. This week has already been a nightmare for the wrestling world, but today, today really hurts.

Today, we watched one of the most uplifting and positive performers cry out in anguish and take her own life.

Today, we lost Hana Kimura.

While all of the details aren’t yet known, it’s clear that Hana was deeply troubled by recent bullying over Terrace House. Yesterday afternoon she began to post disturbing tweets of self-harm, and a few hours later she was gone. Taken from the world at the young age of 22. So painfully before her time.

But a fractured, damaged and hurting person is not how Hana should be remembered. In the hours before her death a hashtag was started by TAPLA [タプラ] (@D_TaPla), #WeLoveHanaKimura, to show her how much she means to us and how much we care. It’s these bright moments, where Hana has made a difference in people’s lives, that we should remember her for.

For me, Hana was my gateway into Stardom. I began watching just before Tokyo Cyber Squad was formed and was immediately taken in by her overwhelming sense of energy. No matter the situation or how flat the program, she could always get you engaged. Bell to bell she was an excellent competitor, but it was the extra effort she put into her character, her humor and her relationships with other talents that really latched on to your heart. Be it her adorable Toy Story costume for the Janken tournament, or her genuine commitment to playing Death HANA-san when she was paired up with Death YAMA-san during last year’s Goddesses Tag League, she owned every moment she was on-screen and made sure everyone got over.

When she joined Terrace House it seemed like nothing could stop her. She was an instant hit, the show edits were extremely flattering and her goofy giggling and awkwardness melted even the coldest heart. She introduced herself, Joshi and Stardom to a world audience and the world was excited to watch back. Even my wife, who has little to no interest in wrestling, was immediately captivated by her and watching her try to navigate housemates and relationships became something we bonded over.

It’s amazing how someone you’ve never interacted with, can end up meaning so much to you. Hana wasn’t just a professional wrestler, she was a radiant ball of positivity captured on video for all to experience, and for the last few months, she was one of the few things that could genuinely make me happy. In March, I suddenly and unexpectedly lost my father and in the time since I’ve found it hard to truly feel happy about anything, but watching Hana was the exception. Even in my darkest moments, if I was watching her wrestle or goof around, I could truly feel happy.

But now she’s gone, and it sucks, and I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to watch her again without feeling this awful shitty feeling. Hana was a beautiful, wonderful person who touched so many lives. Her loss and the circumstances of her death are a tragedy beyond words. All we can do now is share our love, console those who are hurting and offer our support to her friends, family and STARDOM.

So for the last time. Everybody’s different! Everybody’s special! Tokyo Cyber Squad, Yes, sir!

Recommended Viewing