A man in his 20s who has sent several cyber-bullying messages to the late Hana Kimura is in deep trouble after Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department plans to press charges against the man following her suicide.
The Japanese website Asahi Digital is reporting that police found several messages from this individual harassing Kimura along with around 1,200 posts from 600 different accounts which were abusing the former wrestling star. After Kimura passed away, many of the comments and accounts were deleted but investigators found screenshots of these images which were analyzed by the police.
The man has since apologized to Kimura’s family but justice will soon be knocking on his door. Other messages are being investigated and different individuals could be charged as well over their threats.
Hana Kimura passed away on May 23 from suicide stemming from her appearance on the popular reality TV show Terrace House. She was involved in an altercation with a male cast mate where the outfit she wore at NJPW’s Wrestle Kingdom 14 was ruined when the other person mistakenly put her gear in the dryer. Kimura reacted by knocking his hat off his head. That incident was the starting point of her downfall and Kimura was bullied online to no end.
In an explosive interview in July of this year, Hana Kimura’s mother Kyoko blamed the producers of Terrace House for forcing her daughter to play the heel on the show. The incident was staged as producers told Hana to get angry and slap her co-star Kai Kobayashi in the face. Kimura refused to slap him and instead knocked his hat off his head. Kobayashi also confirmed the story, which is backed up by several LINE messages that were left in Hana’s phone. Hana often complained with her friends on the messaging service that producers were forcing her to do stuff that she did not want and felt uncomfortable doing them as a professional wrestler.
Kimura, who wrestled for Stardom, was 22 when she died earlier this year and left a suicide note on her social media.
“Nearly 100 opinions every day. I couldn’t deny that I was hurt. I’m dead. Thank you for giving me a mother. It was a life I wanted to be loved. Thank you to everyone who supported me. I love it. I’m weak. I’m sorry. I don’t want to be alive anymore. It was a life I wanted to be loved. Thank you everyone. I love you. Bye,” the note read.
Former NXT champion Kairi Sane later wrote that she called Stardom founder Rossy Ogawa immediately when she saw the suicide tweet from Hana Kimura but it was already too late.
The Kimura incident rocked the Japanese wrestling scene and the topic of cyber bullying also reached the Japanese parliament with both the Liberal Democratic Party and the Constitutional Democratic Party agreeing to discuss the topic while Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication promised to look for ways to identify online bullies.