Independent Wrestling

Paying Tribute to Hana Kimura

On May 23rd, 2020, it was announced via STARDOM’s Twitter that rising star Hana Kimura had passed away at the young age of 22. This comes during a week already marred in tragedy, as on Monday, May 18th, it was announced that former WWE star Shad Gaspard had gone missing after a rip tide dragged him to sea, only after telling the rescuers to save his son’s life first. It was announced he was found dead that Wednesday. I must admit, the Shad news broke my heart, but the news of Hana Kimura’s death has resonated far more with me than I expected it to.

When I first saw the news, it was already a tragedy. Any life lost at a young age like 22 is shattering to me, especially because I am only two years younger. When I began to read into the story of what happened is when it began to hit home more. Hana was taking part in a television show called Terrace House. In the most recent episode, a man unknowingly washed her wrestling gear and shrunk it to the point it was unusable. She of course got upset, and when the man did not seem apologetic, she slapped him on the head and knocked his hat off.

This lead to mass social media backlash towards Hana, with many people telling her she should kill herself. On May 22nd, Hana posted what looked to be self harm images with captions that indicated she was suicidal. As many in the wrestling world rushed to social media to show her love, it seemed as if it was too late. Hana Kimura’s death was announced only a few hours later.

I’d be lying if I said reading the backstory didn’t hit me like a Mack truck. I spent most of my night staring at my Twitter, reading heartfelt messages of sorrow and despair being issued by her friends. It made me realize how close I’ve come to being in her friend’s shoes. Most of the people in my life have faced some sort of mental hardship in their life. Many of my friends have been on the brink of suicide before. A death like this puts my life into perspective. Could I one day have to step into her friend’s shoes and honor the life of my friend who died too soon? Or, could I one day be in Hana Kimura’s shoes? With how cruel the world is, both are possible, and they shouldn’t be.

Hopefully, her death will not be for nothing. We should use her as an example of why we should always be kind to the people around us, from our teachers to our friends to celebrities. We are all people, and we all deserve to be treated with kindness and respect. No one should have to go what Hana Kimura had to go through.

Everyone here at PSE sends our condolences to Hana’s family. Losing a daughter that young is a pain I never hope to feel. If you want to learn more about Hana Kimura’s career accomplishments, read about it here in this article by Shannon Walsh. And instead of ending it on that sad note, here are some of the most beautiful tributes to Hana Kimura that I have seen since her passing. Let us celebrate her life and the joy she brought to the people around her.

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