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Yoji Harada: The Passing of a Tattoo Legend

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Image from Oh No They Didn’t

The world of tattoos is a world of legends. Beyond the amazing ideas and awesome ink are the talented tattoo artists that help bring everything to life.

Yoji Harada was one such legend. Unfortunately, he died on March 26th, 2019, at only 46 years of age.

Here at Tattooing 101, we believe the best way to celebrate a legacy is to take joy in someone’s life instead of mourning their passing. That’s why we put together our own memorial here for Yoji Harada.

Keep reading to discover more about the man, the myth, and the legacy he leaves behind!

Humble Roots

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Image from Foto Community

Every artist’s journey must begin somewhere. And for Harada, his own journey started over in Japan.

Harada was born in Japan, but he moved to the United States in the 1990s. While he would visit Japan many times during the rest of his life, it was in America where he would discover fame and fortune that eventually turned him into an international star.

Fame Calls

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Image from Inked Mag

Harada is most known for being a star on the reality television show Miami Ink. However, his path to superstardom on that show wasn’t as quick and direct as many people think.

First, he had to hone his chops as a tattoo artist. At the tender age of 19, Harada gave himself his first tattoo. It was a tat of his girlfriend at the time. And while their relationship wouldn’t last forever, Harada had found a new love: the love of inking tattoos!

When he got to Miami Ink, he still had to start at the bottom. He began the show as an apprentice artist, and he was one that the veteran tattoo artists loved to tease. Audiences then got to watch in real time as Harada made his journey form apprentice to full-time tattoo artist.

This helped to make him famous, and the world would soon discover all of the different talents that Harada had.

Hometown Hero

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Image from Monsters and Critics

Harada had left Japan as a young man. When he returned to Japan after becoming a star, he was the absolute toast of the town. He even managed to parlay the fame into a brief movie career: Harada starred in a Japanese movie called Suicide Club. Be warned: it’s not for the faint of heart!

The tattoo artist also loved to play guitar, and he got a real kick out of posting his rock star pictures on social media for his adoring fans. By this point, you might think that Harada would settle for being both a famous tattoo artist and a famous musician. However, you’d be wrong!

Yoji Harada ended up becoming an international entrepreneur, opening up a tattoo parlor in the Netherlands back in 2016. It seems like he was poised for an awesome second act before he died at the age of 46.

Never Forgotten

We all mourn the passing of Yoji Harada. However, his life is a lot like his famous tattoos: he will remain an inspiration to old fans, new fans, and tattoo lovers all over the world long after his death.

In the meantime, we’re going to keep on celebrating everything about the world of tattoos. Be sure to subscribe to Tattooing 101 so you can stay in the loop!

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Stories

Ötzi and the World’s Oldest Tattoos

otzi discover magazine

Image from Discover Magazine

If you have tattoos, you’ve probably had “concerned” friends and family ask that annoying question: “what will those tattoos look like when you’re older?”

It turns out we now have evidence that they’ll look pretty damn cool. And it’s all thanks to Ötzi the Iceman!

Want to learn more about this ancient dude and his dozens of tattoos? Keep reading to discover all his secrets!

Initial Discovery

otzi smithsonian

Image from Smithsonian Magazine

Relatively speaking, Ötzi was discovered a long time ago. A couple of tourists in the Italian Alps found his remains inside a glacier back in 1991.

It turned out that he was older than anyone imagined: 5,300 years old! Furthermore, he was absolutely covered in tattoos.

The latest estimate has Ötzi at a whopping 61 tattoos. While that’s cool in and of itself, it turns out that these tattoos really tell his life’s story.

Tattoo Therapy

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Image from Cultura Colectiva

Obviously, many people get tattoos for different reasons. Some people are honoring loved ones or memorializing the past. Others just want to look really damn cool.

It turns out that Ötzi’s main tattoo goal may have been a happier and healthier life. Some of the scientists studying the iceman found that many of his tattoos (made with charcoal, incidentally, instead of ink) line up with popular acupuncture areas on the human body.

Now, scientists cannot be absolutely certain of this because of the extreme age of the body. But some researchers are convinced that Ötzi’s tattoos helped him receive acupuncture. This is pretty wild because that would mean Ötzi was getting acupuncture over two thousand years before the first known use of that particular therapy!

Modern Medicine Man

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Image from Discover Magazine

For the longest time, scientists struggled to find out exactly what time period Ötzi belonged to. It turns out that his tattoos may have been an important clue pointing to the answer.

Even if he and his people didn’t practice acupuncture, it’s clear that the tattoos mark areas where his body was suffering. This meant that his people were interested in studying and ultimately finding ways to treat the human body.

That extended beyond the tattoos as well. His body was found with fern in his stomach (possibly used to treat issues like tapeworms), and his tools had special fungi tied to them that may have had antibiotic purposes.

All in all, it looks like Ötzi is a relic of our Copper age, and he (and his tattoos) have helped us understand that time period.

Something Just for Show

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Image from Cultura Colectiva

Earlier, we mentioned that Ötzi had 61 tattoos. And it looks like most of them line up with areas where he was suffering and needed medical help.

What about the final tattoo? More recently, scientists discovered several tattoos clustered around Ötzi’s heart. And as near as they could tell, this area was not in bad shape like the other areas were.

While it’s possible that these tattoos were meant to treat something we can no longer detect (like mild chest pain), there is another possibility. Maybe Ötzi discovered how awesome chest tattoos could look thousands of years before Millennials would perfect the look?

Ötzi: Final Thoughts

You’ve learned a lot about Ötzi the Iceman and his cool tattoos. But do you know how to stay on top of the latest news in the world of ink?

Be sure to bookmark Tattooing 101 and visit us every week for news, reviews, and unforgettable articles!

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Stories

The Complete Guide to Jason Momoa’s Tattoos

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Image from Inked Mag

Jason Momoa is famous for his tattoos. And the Jason Momoa tattoos aren’t limited to his fictional characters, either: in real life, the superstar is rocking some really cool ink all over his body.

Want to learn the scoop about all of his onscreen and offscreen tattoos? Then keeping going to discover our deep, Aquaman-esque dive into the world of Jason Momoa tattoos.

Khal Drogo

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Image from Unilad

Much of the world first discovered Jason Momoa when he played Khal Drogo on the hit TV show Game of Thrones. In addition to his muscled build, the first thing people notice about this character are his tattoos.

Within the show, the primary purpose of the tattoos were to make Momoa look even meaner and sleeker than he already did, especially when the character was fighting. And this character ended up being very inspirational in the tattoo community: plenty of people have tattoos of phrases and symbols from his onscreen people, the Dothraki!

Aquaman

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Image from IGN

When we first saw onscreen Aquaman, a few fans were confused. This super-tattooed superhero didn’t look a lot like his comic counterpart.

There are a few reasons for this, though. First, both director Zack Snyder and Momoa himself wanted Aquaman to represent Polynesian culture, and the extreme amount of body tattoos helped to do so.

In addition to generally representing this culture, Momoa’s Aquaman tattoos show him to be a fearsome warrior. Some of the tats include spearheads all over his arms that help to highlight a simple fact: this guy is a living weapon!

Finally, on a practical level, all those Aquaman tattoos help to cover up Momoa’s real tattoos.

El Diablo?

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Image from Instagram

One of the simpler Jason Momoa tattoos is the one on his finger that reads “Diablo.” Don’t worry, though: it’s not as sinister as it sounds.

Momoa has said that this tattoo honors a friend who passed away. And he shows it off pretty often by flipping off the press!

Drinking Like a Fish

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Image from Instagram

In the DCEU movies, we see that Aquaman loves some hard liquor. It turns out that Momoa does as well.

Look on his right arm and you can see a tattoo in French that reads “etre toujours ivre.” What’s it mean? “To be always drunk,” of course.

Gypsy Pride

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Image from Pop Sugar

The right arm is pretty busy for Jason Momoa tattoos. The other side reads “Pride of Gypsies.” Why this strange tattoo? It happens to be the name of Momoa’s creator-centric production company.

Family Ties

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Image from Instagram

Sorry, ladies and gentlemen: Jason Momoa is tied down pretty firmly as a family man. Not only does he have a lovely wife, but he’s used ink to memorialize his children.

They stay close to his heart, quite literally: their names are inked directly on his chest.

The Real Aquaman

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Image from Instagram

Arguably, the most noticeable Jason Momoa tattoo is on his left arm. It is a full sleeve of triangles that take up nine entire rows.

It’s a very striking look, and you’ll see it onscreen as well. Look closely, and you’ll notice this real tattoo has been integrated into his Aquaman look.

So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

Now you know the scoop on Jason Momoa’s tattoos. But where can you get the rest of the news you can use?

Be sure to bookmark Tattooing 101 for the latest and greatest news from the world of all things ink.

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