Yoji Harada Bio

March 26th, 2019 – Yoji Harada, Japanese tattoo artist dies aged 46. Yojiro “Yoji” Harada was born on August 6th, 1972 and died on March 26th, 2019. He was a Japanese tattoo artist and musician who gained fame from his appearances in the TLC reality show Miami Ink.

Yoji Harada Trivia & Quick info

Yoji Harada wiki/Bio Facts
He was born on August 6, 1972, in Tokyo, Japan
Died He died on March 26th, 2019 (aged 46) Netherlands
Occupation Tattoo artist
Television personality
Bridgette (m. 2005–2009)
Bonnie Minkus (m. 1996–2003)

Yoji Harada Early Life/Education

On his MySpace page, which was last updated in 2007, Harada said he was a native of the Japanese city of Yokohama, his highest level of education was high school, his religion was Judaism and also that he was a “proud parent.”

Yoji Harada Biography

Yoji was born in Tokyo, Japan before moving to Chicago where he met and married his first wife Bonnie Minkus. He moved to New York City, New York in order to pursue his dream of being a professional musician in 1998. It was while in New York that he started hearing The Clash on the radio as his motivation and at the same time progressing with making music in Japan. His dream was to lead a successful career in the US. He joined a punk rock band called ‘Big Deal’ which lasted for several years before his relocation to Miami, Florida to tattoo for Ami James.

Yoji Harada Miami Ink

Yoji stated that he worked for Ami James for 5 years before requesting the role of apprentice upon his girlfriend Bridgette becoming pregnant. He said, “One night I found out my girlfriend was pregnant. I had to start making some real money, you know, so I asked Ami James if I could apprentice and he said yes”.

Moreover, he Working at Love-Hate Tattoos under Ami James, the television show Miami Ink spawned and thrust Yoji into the public eye leading to huge fame in his native Japan. The show chronicled Yoji’s progression from apprentice to official tattooist, as well as his marriage to Bridgette and the birth of his daughter Sydney (born 2008). The success of the show allowed Yoji to return to his real passion and regroup with his band ‘Big Deal’.

Alongside fellow Miami Ink tattooist Darren Brass, Yoji developed the infant clothing company ‘Ruthless and Toothless’.

Yoji Harada 2001’s Film Role “Suicide Club”

Yoji made a brief cameo in the Japanese thriller Suicide Club as a comedian whose partner commits suicide on stage. According to Screen Rant, the movie deals with a detective trying to uncover the reason for a string of suicides across Japan. Harada is featured in the movie as a comedian whose friend commits suicide while Harada is performing on stage.

Yoji Harada Tatto Store in the Netherlands

Furthermore, his Facebook page, Harada was living in Amsterdam in the Netherlands at the time of his death. In November 2017, he was filmed at a tattoo convention in the Netherlands. He posted on Facebook in June 2018 saying he was looking for an apartment in Amsterdam. A year earlier, Harada wrote that he was “About to go to Amsterdam. Make some bread.” Harada opened a tattoo store in the Netherlands in April 2016. In 2015, Tattoodo reported that Harada was living in Miami.

Yoji Harada Marriages, Wife | Wives, Divorce

Harada’s first marriage was with Bonnie Minkus in the 1990s after he moved from Japan to Chicago. Harada would later move to New York City in an attempt to become a professional musician.

Harada split from Minkus in 2003 and later married Bridgette Harada, the mother of his child. The couple was married in 2005 and divorced in 2009.

Yoji Harada Daughter (Sydney)

Harada is survived by his daughter, Sydney, who was born in 2005. Harada was quoted by People Magazine in 2007 as saying, “When my kids grow up, they aren’t allowed to have tattoos. No tattoos. No way.” That piece mentioned that Harada’s wife was pregnant with the couple’s second child at the time.

Yoji Harada Death and Cause

Yoji Harada died on March 26th, 2019 at the age of 46. His tragic was confirmed in an Instagram post from fellow tattoo artist Tommy Montoya. Montoya wrote, “Another friend gone!! so sad. rest In PEACE Yoji. you will be missed! #yojiharada.” Montoya’s previous post was also regarding the death of another tattoo artist, Lyle Tuttle, who passed away at the age of 72.


Montoya announced Harada’s death in the early hours of March 27th. In a separate post on his Twitter page, 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!!!”

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