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Kyoko Kimura Announces Hana Kimura Memorial Show 2024 for May 23 at Korakuen Hall

4 months ago

Kyoko Kimura Announces Hana Kimura Memorial Show 2024 for May 23 at Korakuen Hall

Share Time and Memories with Other Fans in Honor of Hana Kimura at Korakuen Hall, May 23 at 5:30pm JST

By: Thom Fain

At a small bar in Suidobashi among a contingent of friends and media personnel, Hana Kimura’s mother & former Japanese wrestling star Kyoko announced her daughter’s 2024 Memorial, Terima Kasih. It’ll be held at Korakuen Hall on May 23. The name of the event is an Indonesian word meaning Thank You, but literally means Yes, I Received Your Love. All revenue goes to a non-profit organization to be used for an ongoing court case that Kyoko Kimura is fighting. Kyoko has accumulated lawyer fees while fighting for Hana’s justice, and all wrestlers involved are committed to the event for the love of Hana.

A young Hana Kimura shared wrestling love with her mother Kyoko. Photo c/o Fumi Saito

Sixteen wrestlers are confirmed, and among those slated to participate are members of Sendai Girls, Okinawa Pro Wrestling, Triple Six and more – almost all were connected to Hana or were friends with her during her short but bright life. Among those announced:

  • DASH Chisako
  • Ram Kaichow
  • Yuko Miyamoto
  • Tsutomu Oosugi
  • Tatsuhito Senga
  • Fuminori Abe
  • Chihiro Hashimoto
  • Mika Iwata
  • Hanako Nakamori
  • VENY
  • Super Delfin
  • Sareee
  • Kaori Yoneyama
  • Ryo Mizunami
  • Miyuki Takase
  • And more to come

“If we didn’t run this card, I wouldn’t know know how to spend that day… May 23,” said Kyoko at the presser. “That’s the day we remember Hana… If we didn’t share this time, night and space – I wouldn’t know what to do all by myself. So, this is a night that our friends gather, and the fans and the people that knew Hana.”

Kyoko noted this event is especially aimed at lifting the spirits of everyone suffering from depression or struggling with mental health, and she wants Terima Kasih to give those people a space to share and give one another power.

Hana Kimura Memorial Show ’24 Event Details

The card is yet to be announced, but DASH Chisako flanked Kyoko at the presser and said she wants to have a match against somebody who she normally isn’t able to (because she’s exclusive to Sendai Girls, Meiko Satomura’s company). This night is one DASH wants to have a hardcore match – against somebody that she normally wouldn’t be able to compete with.

Tsutomu Oosugi stated he wants to have a Rumble match, and participate.

“No, we’re not having another battle [royal] rumble match,” Kyoko said. He pressed her, saying “No, no, I want to have a rumble match because I want to win it!

Last year was a Toshimaen Rumble match. Toshimaen is an amusement park and swimming pool [in Tokyo], where every summer all of Hana’s friends used to visit. But Kyoko insisted, “No, we’re not having the rumble match this year!” In the end, it seemed Tsutomu finally got his way, as they declared he’ll be in a rumble.

How Western Joshi Fans Can Support

Hana’s life ended tragically in 2020 at the height of lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic while participating in a reality TV show that opened her up to online bullying – something she was unable to overcome, and partially the cause for her untimely death. At the time, Hana was of course one of the fastest rising stars in all of Japanese wrestling – and arguably one of STARDOM’s top draws. Kyoko is involved in a drawn out legal battle against the network, and all proceeds from the show will help pay her legal bills.

When asked how fans in the West can support, she said financially and just by participating. Streaming details will be announced on a later date. Keeping her daughter’s memory alive and continuing the #EndTheHate campaign has become a central mission of her mother, who remains a prominent figure within Japanese professional wrestling.

We reported live on the scene at Kitsune Pro-Wrestling in LA, an event co-produced by Kyoko alongside Eric Howard, the Stateside promotion’s principal owner and founder. Howard previously recorded The Joshi Pod for fans to have a window into the culture in Japan.

“I was the biggest Hana Kimura fan from years ago when she first came out,” explained Howard at the time. “I don’t know why… I thought she was going to be the face of wrestling – not just women’s wrestling or Japanese wrestling – I thought she was going to be the face of Wrestling. But whatever happened, happened. And I just wanted to create a place for Kyoko to come and feel the love and let her know that her daughter was loved by international fans, by western fans.”

All Photos by Masahiro Kubota for Monthly Puroresu