Teiji Honma

Teiji Honma's photograph is more famous than his hockey ability.

Born April 14, 1911 in Manchuria, Honma was Japan's goaltender at the the 1936 Winter Olympics in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.

As you can see the 25 year old is wearing a protective face mask. This baseball catcher-like mask is only the third documented usage of a facial protection by a hockey goaltender.

The first such occurrence was when Elizabeth Graham donned a mask in 1927 for her game in Montreal. In 1930 NHL goaltender Clint Benedict briefly wore a primitive mask following facial injuries incurred during a game.

Honma's claim to fame is he was the first Olympic goalie to wear a mask, some 23 years before Jacques Plante popularized the use of facial protection. He wore the mask likely to protect his glasses.

Very little else is known about Mr. Honma. He played two games in those 1936 Olympics, losing 3-0 to Great Britain and 2-0 to Sweden.

Aside from the Olympic team Mr. Honma played with the Manchurian Medical University hockey team.

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