Remembering Hana Kimura is a Love Letter from her fans, including written and visual submissions from those who love and miss her.
You can find the non-profit, REMEBER HANA, set up by her mother Kyoko Kimura here.
As I sit down to write this introduction to this fabulous piece we have put together as a community for Hana Kimura, I feel a sense of urgency and responsibility to talk frankly and openly about how she effected me but also how hard the last year has been for all of us. Not just because of Hana but also because our world hasn’t been quite the same since this global pandemic started at the start of 2020.
I have rewritten this several times in my head and on paper, and as I start to come out of a deep dark bout of depression myself, I feel like there are things we need to talk about as a community. For me I can only share my personal experiences, but if that helps one person, if that person reads my words and reaches out for help then that’s one more person willing to fight and go on. But sometimes you fight so hard that you loose that battle, our Dangerous yet beautiful Flower, Hana Kimura lost her battle.
I understand how cyber bullying and other people’s perceptions of you, taken from people who either dislike you or are just cruel and looking for someone to victimise, can be deeply damaging. I myself at the start of the social media boom, received comments and abusive messages, sometimes very publicly, about my looks, intelligence and who I was as a person. I have always been unapologetically myself, standing up for the people that need it, with a sharp tounge and inability to just let things lie when I see injustice.
But at the same time I don’t advocate for myself, I let people walk all over me, I hold my tongue and I don’t talk about how I feel, cause for years I suffered in silence, being bullied and belittled by my friends and peers. I sat in my room, with notifications going off with mean comments and knowing that I was their “friend” but I was never included or invited to things like everyone else. Alone in that room, unable to escape the true hellish nightmare I was experiencing, cause it didn’t stay at school or college, it followed me home, to my safe space.
And why am I telling you all of this? Cause this is what Hana Kimura experienced, everyday, for who knows how long, to an even bigger extent than I can even imagine, mine resulted in a breakdown and a change of scenery, for Hana it became too much and she ended her life.
Hana was a beautiful, sweet, shy and well respected young woman, who had her whole life and career ahead of her. I felt an instant connection with her which is unexplainable, it’s the same way I will never truly understand why I intently liked Becky Lynch, Lita or Sasha Banks, there was just something about her. It was like I felt a kinship with her, but I wouldn’t know then that a few years later she would be gone and how much we truly had in common.
This is a long intro, but for me it needs to be said, I miss Hana Kimura everyday, I have cried for her and watched endless “tapes” of her matchs over and over again.
I think about her mother, how heart breaking it must be to loose a child, so it makes me think of my child and how I wouldn’t be able to cope if I lost her. Kyoko, you are strong.
I think of her friends who must desperately miss her, I too lost a friend young while I was at college and I know what it’s like to walk the halls of somewhere thinking you’ll see them again or they will just walk though the door and it will have all been a bad dream. The pain they feel and the guilt or little pang in their chest every time they are somewhere they shared with Hana and are having a good time without her. Hana would want you to laugh and make the most out of your lives.
I also think of her fans, you are all amazing and supportive people, not just the ones who have contributed to this piece, but all of you, all around the world, thankyou for making this happen. Thankyou for being here and keeping each other here.
So as I sign off and let you read these amazing letters to Hana, I want you to all remember “the most punk thing you can be is yourself”. We miss you Hana.