Terrace House: Tokyo Canceled Following Hana Kimura's Death

Illustration for article titled Terrace House: Tokyo Canceled Following Hana Kimura's Death
Screenshot: Netflix

The latest Tokyo edition of the Japanese reality show Terrace House has been officially canceled following the news of cast member Hana Kimura’s death.


On Wednesday, Terrace House’s Japanese broadcaster Fuji Television Network announced that the show will end its most recent season, Terrace House: Tokyo 2019-2020, Variety reports. The network’s statement reads: “We would like to express our regrets for the death of Hana Kimura and offer our sincere condolences to her family. Taking her passing with utmost sincerity, we will take active steps to formulate a response.”

The show had already suspended filming the season due to covid-19 concerns, but it wasn’t clear if the Tokyo installment would resume at a later date or if the season was cut short entirely. The broadcast didn’t give any indication as to whether future iterations of Terrace House would continue.

The news of Kimura’s death has sparked a conversation about the ethical boundaries of Terrace House and how the commentators talk about the housemates. Since the show airs in near real-time in Japan, housemates are often subjected to trolls on social media from strangers watching them as they live and interact in the house. The jokes and harsh criticisms about the stars made by the commentators, even if in jest, might essentially incite viewers to bully housemates in real-time.

Before her death, Kimura posted about the cyber-bullying she was experiencing online. The 22-year-old professional wrestler was a charming addition to the house, known for being aggressive in the ring but surprisingly shy talking about her crushes. CNN reports that Japanese government officials are now calling for legislation to fight cyber-bullying and online harassment.

Terrace House also appears to have wiped evidence of the Tokyo season from its social media. The TV show’s YouTube page does not currently list a single video from the Tokyo season, and neither does its Instagram page. The latest posts on the Instagram account are all for the last installment of Terrace House: Opening New Doors, and according to the Wayback Machine the show’s Instagram page deleted several posts and changed its bio from “Terrace House: Tokyo 2019-2020" to simply “Terrace House.” Similarly, the Terrace House Twitter account no longer has any tweets identifying the most recent season, and several tweets about the season have been deleted.

Hazel Cills is the Pop Culture Reporter at Jezebel. Her writing has been published by outlets including The Los Angeles Times, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, The New York Times Magazine, ELLE, and more.


O's, Poes and Bohs

The erasure is business as usual when a scandal (usually related to drug use) intersects with Japanese pop culture, though the nature of the scandal is unusual and tragic. As I said in another comment, I don’t see how Terrace House continues in any form.

Though now that I think about, the nexus of this kind of horrendous treatment and reality television is hardly new. Here’s a This American Life piece about a Japanese comedian who was essentially imprisoned for the sake of others’ amusement and made to fill out contest entries until he won clothes, food and eventually enough to buy his way out.