About Matt Ketchum
Matt is “The Akiya Hunter”, real estate marketer, event producer, and consultant. Originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Matt moved to Japan in 2009 after graduating from Hobart and William Smith Colleges to teach English in Miyako, a small port town in rural Iwate Prefecture, in the northeast of the main Japanese island of Honshu. Abundant seafood, open-minded musicians, a well-paying, easy job and a low cost of living — Matt was enamored with inaka life. But then, on March 11, 2011, at 2:46 p.m. all of that was washed away by a 37.9-metre tsunami and he was left standing outside of a hilltop temple, homeless, watching the city burn.
After two months of organizing response teams in Miyako, Matt moved to Tokyo to work with art galleries and NPOs active in Tohoku. Fast forward through a diverse career spanning market research, consulting, and most recently serving as Executive Director of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Japan, and you could say Matt is a jack of all trades, and a master of fun.
Underlying all of that, Matt has relentlessly pursued his passion for independent, boundary-pushing music as a guitarist for black metal bands Darkcorpse, Retch, and now Worship Pain, a respected booker and tour manager, and a data-hungry documentarian cataloguing and analyzing the physical history of Japan’s rich underground music cultures – a methodology which he has recently begun applying to the akiya market, culminating in the genesis of Akiya & Inaka.