In the spring of 2013, I reconnected with mask maker, Jerry Wright. I took my original mask to him in hopes of getting it refreshed. After some talk I realized that it was almost 20 years old. After feeling new padding, I also realized that the padding in my almost 20 years old mask had become quite solid. Lasting 20 years is great value and a testament to the quality of the mask itself. Let’s face it……I take a lot of pucks off the melon! So, after some thought, my visit to see Jerry and get my mask ‘renovated’ changed to seeing what he had that’s new. He showed me a few models and I tried them all on. There was one in particular that he felt fit me best and offered me a great deal if it was interested. It took only a minute at most to agree to the deal. I returned home with my new mask. A new prototype from Jerry. I played the remaining 4 or so games with it. It sure felt different, but more snug. Paint Theme
Along came summer which was my chance to look for a painter. First step was to decide on a theme. I have been getting into my heritage and roots more lately and wanted to come up with a theme that encompasses my Japanese heritage and samurai family roots. Being happy with my original work (panthers head) by Mike Droesto, I searched for him. Through an old friend I tracked him down but saddened to hear that he had passed on a few years ago. I then searched the directory pages of InGoal online magazine and found a few that were local. After a couple had advertised some rates that were out of my reach I contacted mask painter Jay Plant in Kitchener. I had come up with an idea of what the mask would look like and searched the web for some sample pics that would do great for reference material. I sent them all to Jay. He returned a very impressive software generated draft. Once I confirmed the idea, he provided a quote that was quite reasonable. We then spent the next few weeks firming up the design. I then made a trip out to Kitchener to drop off the mask with Jay. Just short of 4 weeks later, the work was all done. The result is a fantastic looking mask with a couple of coats of automotive clear coat to protect the artwork and give it a nice shine.
Courtesy of Jay Plant at J&A Airbrush, click here to view the YouTube video of my mask being painted.
The mask features a Japanese Samurai theme. Down the left side of the mask is a map of Japan over laying a scene with a Tori. The right side features a samurai on a horse. The forehead showcases a samurai’s head gear - mask and helmet. The chin has “Bushido” written in Kanji on stone overtop the Rising Sun flag. Spread out all over the mask subtly, are the kanji characters for the 7 virtues of Bushido. The back plate has a Canadian and Japanese flag as well as the crest of the samurai family we originated from.
What is Bushido?
is literally the way of the warrior. It is the word for samurai life. Bushido originates from the samurai moral code stressing frugality, loyalty, martial arts mastery and honour unto death.
The 7 virtues of Bushido: