Yamato Ishida, nicknamed Matt, is a member of the DigiDestined, partnered with Gabumon and holder of the Crest of Friendship. Matt's little brother is T.K., and before their parents divorce, they lived in Highton View Terrace, where they witnessed the battle between Greymon and Parrotmon. Over time, their memories of the event faded, and the brothers were then split up when their parents divorced. Their father received custody of Matt, while their mother got custody of T.K., and took him to live outside of Odaiba. As such, Matt and T.K. do not see each other as much as they would like, and Matt sometimes has trouble being the brother he should. Matt's dad means well, but he is sometimes not as considerate as he could be. Matt thought that his family didn't want him, and so he decided to keep to himself, not making friends - not becoming close to anyone, so he could never be hurt. Shortly after their arrival in the DigiWorld, the kids came across a lake, with a strange boxcar sitting on a small island there, connected to the shore by land bridge. Matt was still trying to learn how to take care of his brother without anyone else's help, and came off as short-tempered a few times. However, while Matt and Gabumon stood watch as the others slept, they were attacked by Seadramon. Gabumon Digivolved to Garurumon for the first time to save Matt from the serpent's clutches. It was after the kids were separated by Devimon and sent to different chunks of the broken up File Island that Matt had his first major clash with Tai, the group's leader. Matt had been sent to a frozen tundra area, and despite Gabumon's warnings, wandered through the blizzard at night to try and find T.K.. Gabumon protected him from the cold with his fur, but when Tai and Agumon arrived the next morning, Matt flew into a rage when Tai made light of the kids' situation. The two boys began to fist fight, until the scuffle was broken up by Mojyamon, who had been infected by one of Devimon's Black Gears. Greymon and Garurumon defeated him, but the seeds of bitterness between Matt and Tai were sown. After defeating Devimon, the kids headed to the continent of Server. After Tai found his Crest, more arguments with Matt followed, as he took it upon himself to protect everyone. After Greymon corruptly Digivolved to SkullGreymon, Tai realised his foolhardiness, but Matt was not as forgiving as Sora. While at Piximon's training ground, Matt and Izzy set out in search of their Crests. While talking about why they wanted their Crests, Matt said he wanted his to "Digivolve himself" - he wanted to learn from the experiences the Crest would give him, to grow and mature, to become a better person. He and Izzy found their Crests, but inadvertently tipped Etemon off to their presence. Greymon dispatched the minion he sent, Tyrannomon. After Tai was sucked back to Earth during the final battle with Etemon, the DigiDestined slowly broke up without his leadership. Soon, only Matt and T.K. were left with their Digimon. Matt set out across a lake, promising T.K. he would be back in a few hours. However, weeks later, he had not returned, and T.K. meanwhile fell victim to the machinations of DemiDevimon. What had actually happened was that Matt and Gabumon had come across Joe and Gomamon, washing dishes in the kitchen of Digitamamon's diner to pay their bill. Matt agreed to help out to get the job done faster, but DemiDevimon targeted him too, causing accidents and making it seem as though they were Joe's fault, thus preventing Matt's Crest from glowing. However, when Tai returned, he saved T.K. from DemiDevimon, and they headed to the island, and implicated DemiDevimon as the cause of the trouble. Matt's Crest began to glow when Joe saved T.K. from Vegiemon, and Garurumon Digivolved to WereGarurumon to destroy Digitamamon. When the DigiDestined returned to Earth to stop the plans of DemiDevimon's master, Myotismon, Matt and T.K. took the subway back to their homes. When T.K. and Patamon had an argument, Patamon flew away, and Matt, T.K. and Gabumon went looking for him. Instead, they found Pumpkinmon and Gotsumon, two of Myotismon's minions, who were helping him search for the Eighth Child - the predestined eighth member of the DigiDestined. However, they were more interested in having fun, and made friends with the kids. However, Myotismon showed up and destroyed the two slackers, then turned on Matt and T.K.. WereGarurumon was unable to defeat Myotismon, but Angemon helped beat him back. When the Eighth Child was revealed to be Kari, Tai's little sister, Myotismon made his power play, and abducted the entire population of Odaiba, save a few. Matt's dad revealed to Matt that he somehow knew what Digimon were, and left him with Gabumon as he went to the TV station, the source of Myotismon's power. Tai left Kari in Matt's care, as he went to get information, and then Sora arrived to help Matt take care of Kari. When Phantomon, another of Myotismon's minions, attacked with Tuskmon and Snimon, Matt was almost badly injured, until Kari gave herself up to stop the violence. Matt and WereGarurumon were some of the first to be on the scene as Myotismon prepared to kill Kari, and again battled the vampire overlord. As the other kids and their Digimon arrived, Kari finally obtained herDigivice and Crest, thanks to the sacrifice of Wizardmon, and was able to Digivolve her Digimon, Gatomon, into Angewomon, who destroyed Myotismon. When Myotismon returned as VenomMyotismon, Matt and Tai, in accordance with an ancient prophecy unearthed by Gennai, allowed themselves to be struck by arrows of Hope and Light from Angemon and Angewomon. This allowed Agumon and Gabumon to Warp-Digivolve into their Mega stages of WarGreymon and MetalGarurumon, who destroyed VenomMyotismon. With his destruction, a rift to the DigiWorld opened again, and the kids realised they had to go back. Sombre, Matt said his goodbyes to his parents, thinking their caring attitude meant nothing. After the kids defeated MetalSeadramon, the first of the Dark Masters - four evil Mega level Digimon who had conquered the DigiWorld - Matt's remorse bubbled to the surface, and he took it out on Tai. Screaming at him, he claimed he wanted to do nothing but fight, and didn't care about the feelings of anyone else. Sora broke the fight up, but the grudges remained. Shortly thereafter, when T.K. was captured by Puppetmon, Matt went into a panic. The kids were attacked by Kiwimon, who was sent to distract them with Puppetmon played his deadly games with T.K.. Matt demanded that Kiwimon tell them where T.K. was, but Tai said they needed to defeat him in battle first. Matt snapped, and screamed at Tai: "First we find T.K., then we fight YOUR war!" Matt tried to have Gabumon Digivolve... but his Crest... had lost its glow. When Birdramon destroyed Kiwimon, Matt yelled at Sora also, fearing that they would never find T.K.. However, seconds later, T.K. appeared, having escaped Puppetmon on his own. Realisation hit hard for Matt. He thought that his purpose had been to look after T.K. - the way he saw it, he had no other use. But now that T.K. was able to take care of himself... what use was he? Matt skulked off into the forest, wanting to be alone with his thoughts. He explained to Gabumon that, despite his wishes, he felt he had not grown as a person in any way. Gabumon tried to convince him otherwise, but then, Cherrymon, another of Puppetmon's minions, appeared, and used his powers to convince Matt that it was Tai's fault he was unable to grow. Gabumon decided to convince Matt that friendship DID matter - by standing by him, no matter what. The Crest's glow returned, and Gabumon Digivolved to MetalGarurumon - who wound up battling WarGreymon, as Matt and Tai fist fought. Matt didn't want to be a DigiDestined; he could not see what use he was to the team, and wanted to know who had picked them for the task. The fight was interrupted by a mysterious entity from the DigiWorld's past, which possessed Kari's body, and showed the kids the true story behind their selection as the DigiDestined. Matt realised he had been wrong - but he still needed to 'find himself.' He and Gabumon left the team. Matt returned very briefly, to help the other kids defeat Puppetmon, telling him that he could never be victorious, as he had no friendship in his life. MetalGarurumon destroyed Puppetmon with his Metal Wolf Claw, but Matt hastily left again. While wandering the DigiWorld, Matt and Gabumon came across a cave, which somehow fed off of Matt's fears and misery. Matt sank into depression, and the cave began to absorb him, until Gabumon snapped him out of it by biting his leg. Matt released his pent-up feelings, telling Gabumon about how he felt no-one wanted him, and how he only fought with Tai because of jealously - he was jealous of the fact that Tai had always been a better brother to T.K. than he had been. Matt and Gabumon promised to be "friends for life," and the cave disappeared around them. They then met up with Joe and Gomamon, and had to free Sora from the same cave, which, this time, was feeding on her fear of her own inadequacies. The succeeded, and headed back to the peak of Spiral Mountain, where MetalGarurumon joined WarGreymon in battling Piedmon, the last of the Dark Masters, as Tai and Matt reconciled their differences, and admitted that their friendship was one of the most important things to them. During the ensuing battle, Matt and Tai were quickly turned into key chains by Piedmon's magic, but were later restored by MagnaAngemon's MagnaAntidote. After Piedmon was defeated, the kids were immediately attacked by Apocalymon, the DigiWorld's ultimate evil. He destroyed their Crests, and deleted their digital bodies... but the kids then realised that the power was not in the Crests, but had been inside them all along. They reconstituted their forms, and used their Digivices to turn the power of Apocalymon's Total Annihilation attack against him, destroying him. The DigiWorld was reformatted to normalcy, and Gabumon and Matt said their goodbyes. Eight months later, when Diaboromon menaced the Internet, Matt and T.K. were visiting their grandmother in the country. The elderly woman wasn't quite all there, and Tai couldn't quite manage to convey the fact that he needed to speak to them over the phone. After Kabuterimon and Greymon were defeated in battle, Tai finally contacted Matt via their computers, and WarGreymon and MetalGarurumon came into play to battle Diaboromon and stop the nuclear launch he had instigated. Both of the Digimon were defeated, but when e-mails of hope, sent by children around the world watching the battle on their computers, were received, their energy re-powered the two Megas - and they fused their forms into one, new, more powerful Digimon - Omnimon! With thirty seconds to go, Izzy rerouted the kids' e-mails, slowing down Diaboromon's motions, allowing Omnimon to impale him through the head, destroying him and terminating the launch. In May 2000, Matt and the other DigiDestined were called back into the DigiWorld by Gennai, and instructed to release the powers of their Crests, creating a seal that would protect the DigiWorld from evil. However, as a side effect, Gabumon and the Digimon lost their ability to Digivolve to Ultimate. Also, Matt moved beyond his simple harmonica, and began to play bass guitar. He and some of his friends formed a band, which they called “The Teenage Wolves,” who soon became popular in Odaiba.
Four years later, when the Digimon Emperor began his takeover, Matt was unable to travel to the DigiWorld with Tai, Izzy and Sora because he had a band rehearsal. A short time later, though, after playing a gig and meeting June Motomiya, Matt headed for the DigiWorld with the new DigiDestined, in response to a distress call from Gabumon. They managed to liberate the village of Santa Caria from the Emperor’s hold, destroying his Control Spire there.
When Kari was trapped in the city of Gardromon, Matt’s job was to create a cover story for Davis, who had gone with T.K. to rescue her. Unfortunately for Matt, June (Davis’s sister), realised that he was lying, but promised not to tell her parents if Matt agreed to go on a date with her. Matt was left in a daze as she shut the door in his face, wondering how that had happened.
When the Emperor gained control of MetalGreymon via a Dark Spiral, Matt and Tai joined up with the new DigiDestined to pursue and rescue him. They were sidetracked along the way, however, by the discovery of the Digi-Egg of Friendship. Matt was unable to lift it, and nor were any of the other DigiDestined, although Davis didn’t even try properly. Garurumon arrived to help try and destroy the Dark Spiral on MetalGreymon, but it was only when Davis came to terms with his fears of hurting MetalGreymon that the Digi-Egg activated, and Veemon became Raidramon to help Matt and Garurumon destroy the Spiral and free Agumon.
When the kids were celebrating the anniversaries of their first trip to the DigiWorld, and the defeat of Myotismon, T.K. visited Matt and their father. The next day, Matt and T.K. took a walk in town, where they recalled their encounter with Gotsumon and Pumpkinmon. The day after that, the kids were all confronted by Wizardmon’s ghost, which gave them a cryptic warning for the future.
When the location of the Digimon Emperor’s base was discovered, the new DigiDestined resolved to stay in the DigiWorld until it had been destroyed. Matt, Tai and Izzy all went on a camping trip to act as a “cover story” for them. June wanted to come along, but before Matt let her get in the van, she told her to close her eyes so he could give her a present. She complied... and Matt told his dad to drive off!
Matt, Tai and Izzy were kept informed of everything going on in the DigiWorld, until the Emperor was defeated – at which point June arrived at the campsite. Matt wound up taking the bus home with her – she apparently wasn’t bothered by his abject screams of horror.
Some time later, when the DigiDestined were attempting to stop BlackWarGreymon from destroying the Destiny Stones, Cody had a talk with Matt, as he had noticed changes in T.K.’s personality when the powers of darkness ever got involved in their adventures. Matt explained to Cody about how T.K. had lost Angemon four years before, during the battle with Devimon, and how he had never really gotten over that fear. Matt then called T.K. to let him know about Cody’s worries.
At Christmas, Matt and his band had a major gig lined up, which was apparently televised. Before the show went on, Sora came to deliver some homemade cookies to him. When Tai asked her if she was going the concert with anyone, she said that he wanted to be free, in case Matt was available afterwards. Tai was dismayed to discover Sora’s affection for Matt, but still encouraged her to give him the cookies.
Once the show had begun, in the middle of a performance of “Turn Around,” a DarkTyrannomon and some Bakemon smashed their way into the auditorium, having travelled through a Digi-Port that had been opened by Arukenimon, who had also brought a Control Spire to Earth. As the auditorium crumbled, Matt raced to save Sora from debris (having reciprocated her affection off-screen). Once theArmour Digimon destroyed the Spire, Matt and the others had their Digimon Digivolve to round up the wild Digimon and send them back to the DigiWorld.
The following day, Digimon began to appear all over the world as Arukenimon opened Digi-Ports across the globe. Gabumon and the other Digimon had their power to Digivolve to Ultimate restored by an energy boost from Azulongmon’s Digi-Core, courtesy of Gennai. Matt and Gabumon then headed to Mexico City with Ken and Wormmon to round up the wild Digimon there. With help from José, Gennai’s Mexican counterpart, they managed to get inside some Mayan ruins, where they met Rosa, a Mexican DigiDestined, and her partner, a Gotsumon. They then found a Minotarumon and aDokugumon inside the ruins, and Matt and Gabumon angered them so that they would chase them outside. Gabumon became WereGarurumon, and he, Stingmon and Monochromon (the Digivolved form of Rosa’s Gotsumon) defeated them and sent them back to the DigiWorld.
Back in Odaiba the next day, the Daemon Corps appeared, searching for Ken, and the Dark Spore within him. Matt, Sora, Yolei and their Digimon came to aid Kari and Angewomon againstLadyDevimon, who fled at the sight of reinforcements. WereGarurumon was then defeated in battle by SkullSatamon, and he and the other original seven Digimon gave up their power to Digivolve to Ultimate once again, to energise Imperialdramon, allowing him to Mode Change to his Fighter Mode to destroy the villain.
Matt and the other DigiDestined helped to keep watch on the children that Oikawa had implanted with Dark Spores. After BlackWarGreymon’s death, he, Joe, Izzy, and the new DigiDestined were all keeping watch on Highton View Terrace, as the Spore-implanted kids began to return there, at Oikawa’s command, while Tai and Sora trailed Noriko, whose Spore had already flowered. Izzy asked Matt if he was bothered by Sora being with Tai, and Matt replied by saying that he trusted both of them. Then, Oikawa arrived, and opened the portal to what he thought was the DigiWorld. The new DigiDestined raced through it, after him, as Matt tried – but failed – to stop them.
Within an hour, the world was blanketed with darkness, as MaloMyotismon began to infect both worlds with his dark energy. Matt and the other DigiDestined went to the summer camp they had gone to four years before, with their families in tow, and travelled through the gate there, into the DigiWorld, along with all the other DigiDestined from all over the world. The power of the hopes and dreams of the Spore children destroyed MaloMyotismon’s body, and then everyone used their Digivices to give Imperialdramon a power boost, enabling him to use his Giga Crusher attack to destroy Myotismon’s spirit.
Three months later, it was discovered that Diaboromon had survived his battle with Omnimon four years beforehand, and had spent the time in between reproducing himself as millions of Kuramon. The Kuramon were beginning to appear in the real world by transmitting themselves through e-mail, so while the newer DigiDestined set about rounding them up, Matt, Tai and Omnimon headed into the Internet to battle Diaboromon again. With help from Kari, T.K., Angemon and Angewomon, they succeeded, but Davis had played into Diaboromon's hands, having demanded the gate be opened for him so he could follow Kari in. Yolei opened the gate so wide that even though Diaboromon had been destroyed, all the Kuramon were able to escape through the gate into the real world, where they merged intoArmageddemon in Tokyo Harbour. Omnimon was immobilised by Armageddemon as Matt and Tai could only watch, stunned - then, Sora arrived and brought them both to their senses. Omnimon gave his power to Imperialdramon, who transformed to his Paladin Mode and destroyed Armageddemon.
Twenty-five years into the future, Matt and Gabumon become an astronaut team, and perform the first manned (and monned!) landing on Mars. Matt and Sora are married, with two children, a boy and a girl, who have a Tsunomon and a Yokomon for partners. Note that while it is never actually stated in dialogue that Matt and Sora are married, it’s obvious from their children – the child shown as Matt’s son has Sora’s hair colour, while the child shown as Sora’s daughter has Matt’s hair colour. Despite theorising from fans, it is confirmed that they are not divorced.
Matt first appears in "And so it begins..." His voice is supplied by Michael Reisz.