Chairman of Japan Sports Yukikaki Association
Born in 1962 in Otaru, Hokkaido, Matsushiro graduated from Hokkaido University with a degree in engineering. When he was a child, Matsushiro loved playing in the snow, but always hated shoveling it. After graduation he went to find work in Tokyo, returning to Otaru at the age of 30 to establish his own company, only to have this company be acquired by a leading IT group out of Tokyo, prompting his return to the city. Back in Tokyo, Matsushiro found fulfillment in the IT business, working in everything from content development to web marketing, though the idea of returning to Otaru was always on his mind. Out of his determination to contribute to the revitalization of his home city, Matsushiro left the IT business in Tokyo at the age of 50 to establish Otarumaru Ltd. It was during this process that he met Mr. Kenichi Mamitsuka--the host of “Sports GOMI hiroi”, an event dedicated to addressing various social challenges through sports. Matsushiro empathized with these ideals, and with the drive to help “elderly people who can’t remove snow on their own” came up with competitive snow shoveling - or Yukikaki - in addition to founding the Japan Sports Yukikaki Federation alongside Mamitsuka. In January of 2014, the two held the world’s first Sports Yukikaki Championship alongside the youth portion of the Otaru Chamber of Commerce, an event that was also open to foreign tourists as a physical experience program. For those who come from snowy areas, snow is rarely more than a burden to be dealt with, whereas for those coming from warmer climates, it’s something to be admired. Matsushiro hopes that this event will be a place of cultural interaction between residents and tourists, as well as a means of revitalizing the city of Otaru.