Yojiro Harada, popularly known as the humble apprentice on TLC’s Miami Ink, is trying to make a name in both the music circuit and the tattoo industry. But while these goals often compete and clash with each other, the Japanese native still continues to pursue both passions.
“When people ask me what I love more, tattooing or music, it’s a very difficult question for me. I love music. I love tattooing. Music was my first passion, but I love all art too. I don’t know,” he
Though Harada’s eagerness to become a full-time tattoo artist is often featured on Miami Ink, his first love, which is punk rock music, is what he wants everyone to know about. said.
“I’m hanging out in New York right now, but I was born in Japan. I grew up with lots of different kinds of music, but I always liked punk rock the best,” Harada said. “When the radio started playing The Clash, I was just in complete and total shock. I really liked it and I thought, ‘This is something I can do.’ I was in a band in Japan, but I really wanted to make music in the United States. That was my dream.”
Now that he is on U.S. territory, he strives to fulfill his dream with his New York band Big Deal while struggling to make a living under the wing of Ami James.
“When I moved to New York for the first time, I really liked the music scene. I played with a punk rock band for a couple years and then moved down to Miami and started working in tattoo shop. The first time I ever got a tattoo was when I was 18 years old, and I’ve been getting tattoos ever since. It’s addictive. If you get one, you just want more, more, more and more. Now I’ve got tattoos all over my body, but I never actually wanted to be a tattoo artist myself,” he revealed. “
“I had been working at the tattoo shop for over five years, and then one night I find out my wife 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,” he added. “Ami and Chris Nunez are old school tattoo artists, so I have to learn in the old school style. Sometimes it’s difficult, but it’s cool and I really appreciate what I’ve learned.”
On the hand, Harada, who now has a daughter, Sydney, with wife Bridgette, doesn’t want the same kind of lifestyle for his child.
“When my kids grow up, they aren’t allowed to have tattoos. No tattoos. No way,” he said.
-Kris De Leon, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
(Image courtesy of TLC)