Yoji Harada was a beloved tattoo artist who found fame on Miami Ink. Harada stumbled onto his love for tattooing aged 19 after he inked his partner’s name on his body. In the 1990s, Harada relocated to the United States, where he experienced moderate success with the band Big Deal.
Harada moved from New York City to Miami to become a tattoo artist. Fame and fortune followed as Harada became one of the stars of Miami Ink. Tommy Montoya, Harada’s friend and fellow tattoo artist, announced Harada’s death on 27th March 2019, tweeting:
“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!!!”
Yoji Harada’s cause of death hasn’t been released; rumors claim he committed suicide
Yoji Harada’s cause of death remains a mystery four years after his passing. Rumors on social media claim Harada committed suicide, prompting his loved ones to hide his cause of death.
Harada died in the Netherlands, where he’d opened a tattoo store in April 2016. @ColmD1987 tweeted his condolences, writing Harada had tattooed him in the Amsterdam store:
“Just woke up to the sad news that Yoji Harada has passed away…Myself and my girlfriend had to pleasure of being tattooed by him a couple of years ago in Amsterdam and having spent most of the day in his company it was obvious he was an absolute gentleman.”
Ami James, Harada’s tutor, started a GoFundMe initiative to fund the transportation of Harada’s body from Holland to the United States. The since-deleted page stated that excess funds would go to Harada’s daughter, Sidney, whom he welcomed in 2005 alongside his second wife, Bridget Atchinson-Nevel.
“Yojiro ‘Yoji’ Harada this afternoon who we have found out has sadly passed away at 46. Notable for his time on both Miami Ink & L.A Ink, . So young and a great artist sending blessings to his family and friends.”
Tommy Montoya lost two friends and fellow tattoo artists within a day of each other – Lyle Tuttle, a legend in the tattoo world, died on 26th March 2019. @ohitore tweeted:
“Two important names in tattooing have passed away and just… wow. Lyle Tuttle, pretty much a legend. And, to my shock, Yoji Harada who most know from Miami Ink; the program I pretty much owe my teenage tattooing aspirations to. What a sad week for the tattoo industry.”