On May 23, 2020, the wrestling world was struck with an overwhelming dose of tragedy as World Wonder Ring Stardom’s Hana Kimura took her own life after she was faced with cyberbullying. It had a huge effect on her mental health which led to her unfortunate passing.
Fans and wrestlers alike were smothered in pain upon the news of her death and the emotions only grew stronger as time passed because it was an extremely disappointing situation. We have seen many cases of fans interacting with certain wrestlers through social media and sometimes it gets too much. There is a very thick line that exists between criticism and bullying, and unfortunately, fans crossed that line. It was something that should never have happened in the first place. It was disgraceful and people should have known that what they say online has its repercussions and it is extremely tragic that we had to lose Hana for it.
Wrestling promotions across the globe gave heartfelt tributes to the late great Hana Kimura. Her passing was felt by many and it is by far one of the most upsetting incidents in pro wrestling history. The world lost a wonderful soul and it was because of the deplorable actions of certain people on the internet who believed that it was okay to bully someone just because they can. Words cannot describe the disappointment that I feel. Even disappointment is too soft of a word for it.
What followed this awful incident was the wrestling world trying to learn from it. There have been attempts to make sure that such a situation never arises, and we don’t have to lose a human being as talented and as amazing as Hana Kimura. One of those initiatives that have been taken comes from Hana’s family themselves.
Earlier this year, Kyoko Kimura, the mother of Hana Kimura, launched a non-profit organization centred around preventing bullying on March 31, 2021. This anti-bullying organization was titled Remember Hana since the whole project was started in the memory of Hana Kimura. You can access the website by going to the following webpage: www.rememberhana.com.
The non-profit works towards spreading awareness with the hashtag #StopTheHate. It is a very beautiful website that features messages that aim to discourage bullying, especially cyberbullying. The non-profit pushes for people, more specifically the youth, to be taught about social media etiquettes. Her goals and emotions are best described by her own words:
“Last May, I lost my beloved daughter, Hana. I would like to express my deepest thanks to my family, friends, wrestling fans, and so many people for their support.
They interviewed me as many times as my health allowed. I was also interviewed by a congressman. The law is changing little by little, and yet, even today, on social media, we see the same thing. I see the same lynching on the Internet, it’s the same old scene.
Every time I see this, I feel great sadness and I remember Hana with pain and helplessness. I lost a daughter, but I feel like I’ve lost my heart. At the same time, I keep wondering what else I can do to prevent something so sad from happening again”.
“So I decided to raise my voice in the face of these problems and do everything possible to bring the world closer to the goodness that Hana wanted. This will be at the same time my reason to live. I want to reduce the number of victims and perpetrators of slander and insults through different educational activities. This should serve to raise awareness about the problem of social media by collecting donations from people around the world.
“I hope these activities are meaningful and the idea spreads to everyone.”
The aforementioned words are heart-wrenching knowing that they come from a mother who lost her own daughter to an issue that she wants to raise her voice on. Remember Hana is a beautiful initiative and it aims to educate people regarding social media and how to use it. Social Media is a very important aspect of the world right now. It is as big of a part of reality as the physical world.
Moreover, there is also a memorial book that you can buy which pays a lovely tribute to Hana Kimura. Here is the tweet that contains the details regarding the book from the wonderful @farrahakase:
Before I sign off on this piece about Remember Hana, I would like to write a few words of my own since I feel very emotionally attached to the whole situation because of personal reasons: Wrestling is a very very beautiful thing. It is special and it is in a field of its own. For me, wrestling is the greatest form of expressive art. Wrestling can be a vehicle for comedy, drama, tragedy and various genres that are incorporated into one unlike with any other output of information. Point being, that wrestling is something very beautiful yet as a community there is so much negativity.
We all love wrestling and have this society where we interact and communicate with each other. We all love the same thing yet we still have these toxic tendencies like personally attacking someone for their views or downvoting their posts just because you don’t agree with them. It’s hard to imagine wrestling fans as civilized but why can’t we just relax for a bit. It’s art. Enjoy it as you want to. I understand that discourse regarding it is a very crucial part of it, but it can be done without crossing lines that are there in place for a reason. So if anyone is reading this, my advice would just be that don’t be a prick. Live and let live. Love this wonderful thing that we have and support the wrestlers, bookers, promotions, members of wrestling media and even other people of this community. All these aforementioned groups of people are all fans themselves.
WE ARE ALL FANS OF THE SPORT.
Just love wrestling.