On May 23rd, it was announced that popular Japanese wrestling star and member of Netflix reality TV show Terrace House had passed away at the age of 22. Her shocking death followed her posting photos of self-harm and a farewell note acknowledging the deluge of threats and bullying messages she has received from fans on a daily basis, particularly following an episode of Terrace House where she had a heated exchange with a housemate. Following her death, wrestling colleagues, show members, and fans are condemning cyberbullying.

Hours before her death was announced, in her final Instagram post, Kimura posted a photo of her beloved kitten, Karaage-kun, along with a message saying "I love you. Live a long joy-filled life. I'm sorry."

Yesterday, co-founder and representative of Stardom, the Japanese women's wrestling promotion Kimura wrestled for, shared on Twitter that before she passed away, Kimura had gently placed the kitten in a basket outside the promotion's office. "This kitten is just like a keepsake from her (the Japanese for "keepsake" makes use of the word and kanji for the name Hana, which means "flower"). So it looks even cuter and more precious."

Kimura recently received the cat from her friend and Japanese band drummer Hanako Uemura (Hinanchu). In a blog post, Hinanchu talks about how Kimura gave the cat the name Karaage-kun because he resembled Japanese friend chicken, and worriedly and immediately took Karaage-kun to the vet when he caught a cold. She then says "I didn't know Hana Kimura from or Terrace House, just the human being...why did she have to suffer such abuse?"

While Hinanchu initially expressed worry for the Kitten, she later posted to her Twitter that she received contact from Kimura's mother, former Japanese wrestler Kyoko Kimura, that the cat is being taken care of at the Stardom dormitory by her daughter's wrestling colleagues.

Alongside condemnation of the abuse that she experienced before her passing, fans have expressed an appreciation for the kindness and concern she felt toward the kitten in her final hours. Another reason her passing is so heartbreaking. May she rest in peace.


By - grape Japan editorial staff.