Japanese pro wrestler Hana Kimura, who starred in Netflix reality show The Terrace, has died at the age of 22.
Stardom Wrestling, who Kimura was signed with, confirmed the news in a statement on Twitter.
“Stardom fans, we are very sorry to report that our Hana Kimura has passed away. 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.”
Reports have suggested that Kimura was the victim of cyber-bullying. The cause of death has not been confirmed.
Kimura, whose mother Kyoko was also a professional wrestler, began her career in March 2016 and scooped the title of JWP Junior Championship six months later.
She won the Goddess of Stardom Championship in 2017 after teaming up with fellow pro, Kagetsu. Two years later she was awarded Stardom’s 2019 Fighting Spirit Award at the Goddess of Stardom Championship.
Earlier this year Kimura joined the cast of Terrace House, a show where six strangers live together under one roof.
It has restarted after a month-long break due to coronavirus, however, Netflix Japan has paused plans to release a new episode in response to the news.
Tributes have been paid to Kimura from several pro wrestlers and wrestling groups around the world.
— Netflix Japan (@NetflixJP) May 23, 2020
Portuguese star Raquel Lourenço, known by her stage name Killer Kelly, wrote on Twitter: “I wish this wasn’t true. I only met Hana Kimura a handful of times, but her smile and happiness were contagious.
“I have this image of her putting makeup on the ResGal and just looking so peaceful and beautiful. I feel ill inside… people should be better than this. Be kind.”
English pro wrestler Will Ospreay, who currently is signed to the group New Japan Pro-Wrestling, said: “There are so many nights I would go to [Tokyo district] Roppongi & I was joined by one of the most beautiful vibrant women I’ve ever met.
“I would always smile around her & her laugh would just have [an] effect on everyone. I can’t express how heartbroken I am for the Stardom Family. RIP Hana Kimura.”
The National Wrestling Alliance, based in the US, wrote on Twitter: “The National Wrestling Alliance sends its deepest condolences on the passing of Stardom star Hana Kimura.”
Florida-based group, All Elite Wrestling, said: “AEW and the wrestling community mourn the passing of Hana Kimura. May she Rest In Peace, and our thoughts are with her family, her friends, and her fans.”
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