Who was Yoji Harada?
Yoji Harada was a Japanese tattoo artist and musician who gained fame from his appearances in the TLC reality show Miami Ink. He was born on 6 August 1972 in Tokyo, Japan, and moved to the United States in the 1990s, where he pursued his passion for tattooing and music. He joined the Miami Ink crew in 2005 as an apprentice under Ami James, and soon became a fan favorite for his cheerful personality and unique style. He also had a band called Big Deal, and a clothing line called Ruthless and Toothless.
When and how did he die?
Yoji Harada passed away on 27 March 2019 at the age of 46 in the Netherlands, where he had opened a tattoo shop in 2016. His death was announced by his friend and fellow tattoo artist Tommy Montoya, who tweeted: “Rest in peace buddy. I will miss you. Today, Yoji Harada passed away. Many knew him personally and many knew him from Miami/Ny Ink TV shows. Either way he was a great person and always showed me love!!! Miss you Homie!!!”
The cause of his death remains a mystery, as neither the police nor the hospital have released any official statement. Rumors on social media claim that Yoji committed suicide, but this has not been confirmed or denied by his family or friends. Some speculate that he was suffering from depression or financial problems, but there is no evidence to support these claims.
How did the tattoo community react to his death?
Yoji Harada’s death shocked and saddened the tattoo community, as he was widely respected and loved by his peers and fans. Many tattoo artists and celebrities paid tribute to him on social media, expressing their condolences and sharing their memories of him. Ami James, his mentor and friend, started a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for transporting Yoji’s body from Holland to the United States, and for supporting his daughter, Sidney, whom he had with his second wife, Bridget Atchinson-Nevel. The campaign was later deleted, but it had raised over $20,000.
Some of the messages from his friends and colleagues are:
- “Yoji was one of the nicest guys I ever met. He was always smiling and happy. He was a great tattoo artist and a great father. I’m heartbroken by his passing. Rest in peace, brother.” – Chris Nunez, Miami Ink co-star
- “I’m so sorry to hear about Yoji. He was such a sweet and talented guy. He always made me laugh and feel welcome. He will be missed by many. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.” – Kat Von D, LA Ink star
- “Yoji was a legend in the tattoo world. He had a unique style and a great sense of humor. He was always kind and generous to me and everyone he met. He was a true friend and a great artist. I will miss him dearly.” – Lyle Tuttle, tattoo pioneer
What is his legacy?
Yoji Harada left behind a legacy of art, music, and love. He inspired many people with his passion, creativity, and positivity. He was a pioneer of the Japanese-American tattoo culture, and a role model for aspiring tattoo artists. He also touched the lives of many people with his music and his clothing line. He was a devoted father, a loyal friend, and a humble person. He will always be remembered as a star of Miami Ink, and a legend of the tattoo world.