Masako Katsura: Best First Lady of Billiards


Masako Katsura was renowned. She excelled at billiards and won a game that was exclusively for guys. She provided a role model for other women to join the sport and make meaningful contributions.

Masako “Katsy” Katsura was the first woman to play billiards professionally. She was a distinctive competitor in a sport generally dominated by males and immediately became well-known in Japan. She became known as the “First Lady of billiards,” dominating the rest of the globe by competing in tournaments and winning.

Masako Katsura’s Childhood in Tokyo

Masako Katsura started playing pool when he was just 14 years old. She was born in Tokyo in 1913 and raised in a strict family. After her father passed away, her mother encouraged her to play pool and became even more protective of her.

Masako struggled with her health from an early age. She was weak and worn out all the time. Because of this, her mother urged her to learn billiards to improve her physical and mental fortitude.

Billiards was highly well-liked in Tokyo in the 1920s. The fact that Masako Katsura’s husband ran a pool hall allowed for the discovery of her innate skill. Naturally, she obtained employment in the pool hall and started routinely honing her abilities.

She won her first championship when she was 15 years old. As a result, she attracted Kinrey Matsuyama’s attention, who was then Japan’s champion. Matsuyama also called Willie Hoppe in Japan, began training the young Katsura. He also taught her how to play three-cushion pool.

With her talent for trick shots and newly acquired precision when playing three-cushion billiards, Katsura added grace to the game. It started building a road beyond her wildest hopes.

Taking Masako Katsura’s Game to America

 The blossoming star of Katsura suffered during World War II. She started by performing a solo act for Japanese soldiers to advance her profession. After the war, she started performing billiards skills for American soldiers.

She then started her international career as a result. Her skill and grace swiftly gained recognition, and a champion by the name of Welker Cochran extended an invitation for her to travel to the US.

In 1951, Katsura relocated to California. When she noticed that there were no ladies present, she was surprised. In Japan, women played and worked in pool halls. In the USA, this was not the case.It was obvious that American pool rooms catered mostly to males and were run by men.

Masako Katsura and Her Legacy

Masako Katsura paved the way for new possibilities for women. She had the “power of a man” and improved the sport’s appeal to women.

Katsura made her last public appearance in a pool hall in San Francisco in 1976. She grabbed a cue, scored a 100-point run, and disappeared. In the 1970s, a group of players founded the Women’s Professional Billiard Association. Katsura was honored with induction into the Hall of Fame.

Masako Katsura passed away in 1995 after going back to Japan. She has made a significant contribution to both the culture and sport of the pool. She has become so popular that you can now find her in pop art, essays about powerful women, and even her animated Google Doodle! In addition, you can purchase the book about her here!

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