Miami Ink – July 25, 2006

The announcement is made that Yoji is finally ready to start tattooing and making some money. His wife is happy, and Yoji believes he is ready – even if he’s not, he has to do this because he has a family to support.

Emily wants to get Japanese cherry blossoms on her foot. She went through a difficult time, but now it’s a new season in her life. Nuñez (of course) fawns over the pretty girl, but she doesn’t seem to mind.

Yoji faces hazing by the crew as a rite of passage before crossing over into tattooing They all sit around planning what to do to him, and decide that they’re going to kidnap him and drop him off in Little Havana (about 6 miles from Miami Beach) in nothing but his boxer shorts and shoes.

Bryan and “wife” (name not given) – Adopted daughter Cassidy drowned in their swimming pool and Kat does a stunning portrait of her on Bryan’s arm. “Mom” cries while Kat is doing the tattoo, seeing Cassidy’s face come to life, and tells Kat that she has a real gift.

Wellington brings in a picture of a Green Tree Python to Ami and wants it on his arm. Ami says he loves snakes – he used to have about 100 of them when he was younger. Later, when Wellington comes back, he brings a friend with him – a Bald Python. Ami is impressed; Yoji jumps out of his chair. Ami can’t resist chasing Yoji with the snake, causing him to crouch down on the floor and beg Ami not to touch him with it. Yoji thinks the way snakes hiss and slither is disgusting. Ami finds it all very amusing.

But Yoji gets his revenge when Darren releases a box of white mice into the shop, knowing Ami has a phobia. Ami catches a glance of one and jumps up out of his chair right in the middle of Wellington’s tattoo, cusses up a storm and refuses to re-enter the shop until every mouse is removed. Yoji finds it all very amusing.

Meagan has a large scar on her spine due to surgery from severe scoliosis when she was younger. Now she wants it covered up with a tattoo – not to hide it, but to beautify it. She’s been studying Buddhism and chose a White Tara – the female Buddha and Goddess of Longevity. Garver enjoys doing the Tibetan style art, despite the additional difficulty of working on the scar tissue. It’s a very large tattoo taking up over half of Meagan’s back, and it appears she had the whole thing done in one sitting.

D-Day for Yoji. Yoji’s sitting on the bench outside and the guys grab him and throw him in a van and take him to Little Havana. They drop him off in his boxers with a pillowcase on his head. Yoji says he was so embarrassed because everyone was looking at him like he was a freak – yeah, right. This is the same guy who ran around in his fundoshi just for the heck of it and mooned everyone at the end of a musical performance.

Ivy Supersonic makes wild and crazy rock star hats for celebrities and wants a tattoo of a cartoon of herself in one of her crazy hats. Kat doesn’t usually do animated, colorful stuff like this but is stoked for this project. But then there is this huge debate over where to put the tattoo. Ivy can’t make up her mind and Kat keeps having to do the transfer over and over. Ami says if his client had done that to him, he would have kicked her out of the shop. Finally she decides to get it on her stomach. Then she sees the finished product in the mirror and thinks the colors aren’t bright enough. (Her skin is really dark and she expects it to look like it is on a piece of white paper). Kat adds more color and Ivy says she loves it but Kat isn’t sure – she wants her clients to be instantly in love with their tattoo, not grow to love it.

Meanwhile, it’s been 2 hours since Yoji’s kidnapping and he’s still trying to find his way back home. Finally he walks back in the shop, looking worn and sore. The guys hand him two brand new tattoo machines. He’s almost too tired to enjoy it!

Josie enters the shop, interested in the shop management position. She’s dressed preppy and has no tattoos. Everyone tells her she just isn’t right for the position and send her away. Later she comes back with her hair colored and chopped, dressed all punked out with studs and covered in fake tattoos. The repressed laughter around the shop is practically tangible. They accuse her of being a poser; she says she’s someone showing how determined she is. They tell her that, as a teacher, she is really too good to be a shop mule.

Lori and Tanya are celebrating a 20-year friendship. Yoji does his first tattoo with his own tattoo machine. It’s a tribalesque design of their initials. Ami sends Yoji to draw the design and makes him redo it, saying Yoji is only half a tattoo artist at the moment and still has a lot to learn. The lines were a little shaky and it wasn’t a perfect tattoo, but the girl seems happy with it.

Ivy Supersonic is ba-ack. She brings Kat one of her crazy hats, which Kat is really happy about and maybe that makes up for the hell she put her through.

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