at 1936 In the year, the Winter Olympics were held in a German town Garmisch-Partenkirchen. The Japanese hockey team participated in it. On this occasion, unusual matches were held in Katowice with the representation of Silesia and the Polish national team.

At present, the trip from Japan to Germany would be short, and then the Japanese decided on a different solution. “Team Japan was going to Poland a few weeks ago, because they are going through Siberia and Soviet Russia– reported the Silesian newspaper “7 cents”.

The Japanese set out for Poland on January 1st from Mukden, the capital of Manchuria. They showed up at the railway station in Katowice very tired in the early morning of January 12, 6. They came to Silesia 48 hours late due to “the huge snow drifts which have closed the railway track in Siberia in recent days”. After arriving in Katowice, Asians lived in a luxurious house Savoy Hotel, at ul. Marica Street.

The game of the Japanese was a mystery, because earlier for five years they did not go to Europe at all, however, “as we were able to find out all this time, the Japanese played only with the best Canadian teams, wanting to be in the best shape in hockey”- he noted Reporter “7 cents”.

The Japanese were such strange guests in Katowice that newspapers reported the contents of their luggage. It was in one of the baskets Tea kettle, a very large amount of sugar in cubes, a series of enamel cups, teaspoons, dried mushrooms, a few kilograms of rice and potatoes. The tea strainer was not forgotten either, not to mention the clothes box whose contents were really typical. The sports equipment was first class. Suffice it to mention the fact that more than 60 hockey sticks were unloaded alone in Katowice ”- the journalists wrote.

Tickets for matches cost a little less than today – the cheapest for 1 PLN, the most expensive – zloty 5. In the first match, which was held on the evening of January 12 in Katowice Turkat, the Silesian team won 3-2 (1-1, 2-1, 0-0). Before the match, “the Japanese, having put sticks on the boats, took off their Olympic jackets and their country’s stamps which they had obtained from their sporting authorities, Polish hockey players on their chestsWhich received great enthusiasm from the audience. Then the orchestra played the national anthems of both countries. The match itself was a lot of fun, and the performances of both teams drew thunderous applause from the spectators. The Japanese showed very fast game, impeccable driving technique, puck handling, as well as a great sense of group.”

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The next day, on Monday, January 13, there was an interstate match. Organizers were surprised by the great interest. “The police, firefighters and police couldn’t handle the huge wave of the crowd. There were ‘fierce battles’ in front of the entrances and many of them ended up in very wrecked Torkies.” Poland won 5-1. The Japanese goalkeeper was of particular interest to the fans Tigi Honma.

– I was in this match – the 94-year-old tells “Intria” Marian LubinaWho himself was figure skating and hockey in Torkat. – All the fans noticed the Japanese goalkeeper. Well, he was playing in a mask that covered his face. It was an absolute novelty. Everyone was surprised. “What is this beast, what is this strange?” they asked. On the other side was Josef Stogowski, a goalkeeper from Pozna, who didn’t have a mask, says Marian Lubina.

It was truly an absolute novelty: hockey goalkeeper masks It spread all over the world only in the 50s of the last century, the Japanese goalkeeper invented the wear, perhaps to protect … glasses. The leather mask had a wire cage to protect the face, and Honma also wore glasses during the game.

An unusual event occurred after the match with Poland. “It is worth mentioning that one of the Japanese players fainted after the match, as one of the policemen took care of our guest, after which he was taken to the hotel in a private car, here he came to himself and after while he took some silk handkerchiefs from his bag, and gave her a souvenir for their parents “.

Upon leaving Katowice, the Japanese assured a grateful reception. However, at the Ga-Pa Olympics, they did not go well, but then no one expected that they could achieve something, they chased after world leaders. from Great Britain They lost 0-3 and with Sweden 0-2 and eliminated from the Olympic tournament.

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