'Miami Ink' Star Yoji Harada Dead at 46

Yoji Harada, who appeared on TLC's Miami Ink, died on Wednesday. He was 46.

The tattoo artist's cause of death is unknown. His sudden passing was confirmed by fellow tattoo artist Tommy Montoya, who shared the sad news on Instagram.

"Another friend gone!! so sad. rest In PEACE Yoji. you will be missed! #yojiharada," Montoya wrote.

yoji-harada-miami-ink
(Photo: Facebook / Yoji Harada)

Montoya's previous post was regarding the death of another tattoo artist, Lyle Tuttle, who died at the age of 72.

In a separate post on Twitter, Montoya wrote, "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!!!"

Other social media tributes have been pouring in from friends and fans.

"Just woke up to the sad news that Yoji Harada has passed away...Myself and my girlfriend had [the] 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...#RIP," one Twitter user wrote.

"R.I.P. YOJI HARADA," another tribute read. "Thanks Yoji for making great tattoos. The world has lost a great artist."

"R.I.P YOJI HARADA. Grew up watching Miami Ink, always thought he was such a gangsta, gone way too soon," another said.

Born in Tokyo, Japan, Harada moved to the United States in the 1990s. While living in Chicago, he married Bonnie Minkus. Later, he moved to New York City in an attempt to become a professional musician and found moderate success with his punk band, Big Deal.

He eventually relocated to Miami, Florida to become a tattoo artist under the tutelage of Ami James, where he gained fame on the TLC series Miami Ink at the shop Love-Hate Tattoos. On the show, audiences watched him transform from apprentice to full-time tattoo artist.

Inked Mag reports that Harada continued to tattoo and play music in Miami up until his death.

In 2003, Harada split from Minkus, marrying Bridgette Harada, who he shares a daughter with, in 2005. The couple divorced in 2009.

0comments

After he became a dad, Harada formed a children's clothing label, Ruthless & Toothless, with fellow Miami Ink star Darren Brass. According to the brand's website, the two men "quickly noticed all things baby did not include many things they liked. They talked about this to each other, and they heard the same things from their friends.” The pair then took their artistic abilities and “put them to work for their children… Thus the idea of 'Ruthless & Toothless' came to be.”

Harada is survived by his daughter, Sydney, who was born in 2005. An article that appeared in PEOPLE magazine in 2007 reported that Harada's wife at the time was pregnant with their second child.