Masako Katsura – First Lady of Billiards

Masako Katsura, known as “Katsy” and occasionally the “First Lady of Billiards,” was a Japanese carom billiards player who peaked in the 1950s. Masako Katsura (, Katsura Masako, listen; 7 March 1913 – 1995) was born in Japan. By completing and finishing among the top in the largely male-dominated world of professional billiards, Katsura paved the way for women in the sport.

Katsura became the only female professional player in Japan after initially studying the sport with her brother-in-law and subsequently under the guidance of Japanese champion Kinrey Matsuyama. She finished in second place three times at the national three-cushion billiards tournament in Japan. She gained attention after running 10,000 points in an exhibition game of straight rail.

Masako Katsura immigrated to the country in 1951 after getting married to a U.S. Army non-commissioned officer in 1950. She was given the opportunity to compete in the 1952 World Three-Cushion Championship, which was sponsored by the United States, and ultimately finished in seventh place. Katsura was the first ever woman to compete in a world billiards championship.

With her renown solidified, Katsura embarked on an exhibition tour of the United States with Welker Cochran, an eight-time world champion, and subsequently with Willie Hoppe, a 51-time world champion. She also competed in the world three-cushion championship in 1953 and 1954, placing fifth and fourth, respectively.

Masako Katsura Become a Billiards Motivation for Women

Masako Katsura has become a global sensation whilst she wowed everybody in San Francisco withinside the Nineteen Fifties with the aid of using displaying uncanny billiard skills. 

Back withinside the day, maximum sports activities have been male-ruled as ladies have been simply taught to paint as typewriters, stitch a gaggle of stuff, and do mundane jobs. Even though the sports activities of that point we male-ruled, there got here a woman who confirmed guys in their vicinity and stole the display together along with her trick shots.

 The woman is none aside from Masako Katsura, additionally called the nickname “Katsy.”

She performed three-cushions billiards as no different guy could. Is a recreation inclusive of not nothing but trick shots, a lady killing it in front of another, and that too, withinside the Nineteen Fifties? No one could’ve imagined that during their wildest dreams. 

Before we dig deep into who this miracle woman was, let’s apprehend first how the three-cushions billiard works.

What Three-Cushion Billiards Means

Three-cushion billiards or 3-cushion carom is a shape of billiards wherein you play absolutely otherwise from conventional billiards. To score, the player’s cue ball needs to touch a minimum of 3 cushions and an item ball (in any order).

Those who play 3-cushions, or simply revel in looking at this recreation recognize that it’s far less complicated stated than done. Turn out that it wasn’t so hard for Miss Masako Katsura. But who became she?

The Chicago Tribune, a well-reputed information company, had a few fancy phrases to mention approximately this female of billiards.

Three cushions are simply 3 instances. But to at least one little lady, 3 cushions constitute a venture by no means earlier than taken up via way of means of a woman. She is Miss Masako Katsura,” said the Chicago Tribune whilst describing the legend of Miss Masako Katsura.

It changed on the 8th of May in 1952, whilst Miss Katsura arrived in San Francisco Bay Area where. She defeated everybody and stole the show. Six months later, she could arrive in Chicago, where everybody changed ready to peer her magic of gambling trick pictures in 3-cushion billiards, and spoiler alert, she didn’t disappoint. 

Masako Katsura Complete Details

Name Masako Katsura
Nickname Katsy
Height 5 ft
Weight 96 lbs (44kg)
Born And Raised in Tokyo, Japan
Date Of Birth March 7, 1913,
Died December 20, 1995,
Citizenship America
Spouse Vernon Greenleaf
Coached By Tomio Kobashi, Kinrey Matsuyama 
Professional Career Ended 1961


How Masako Katsura Learnt Billiards?

Miss Masako Katsura found her great cue capabilities in the billiard halls in Tokyo, Japan. Her brother-in-regulation owned an internal status quo in Tokyo where she began gambling at the age of 14. She says that her ardor for billiards wasn’t robust at first, however. She might experience susceptibility and tiredness, and her brother-in-regulation might endorse gambling billiards for bodily and intellectual exercise. 

Masako Katsura

As she performed withinside the hall, she quickly began operating there. As she worked, she took a hobby in how clients might play in extraordinary patterns gambling a number of trick shots.

Award Won By Masako Katsura

She found out so quickly that she received the Japanese Women’s Straight-rail championship after simple years. Since she received the championship at a totally aggressive degree and at an early stage, she stuck the eye of Kinrey Matsuyama, a famous call in Japan. He became an undisputed billiards champion of that time. 

As quickly as Matsuyama began out training her, he shifted her to a three-cushions billiard – a better, tougher, and greater aggressive shape of billiard. The manner he without delay transitioned Katsura’s abilities indicates how super. She became at getting to know him due to the fact three-cushions are considered, even for billiards heads, difficult and highly ability annoying billiards. 

Accomplishments By Masako Katsura  

After she had received Japan’s country-wide ladies’ billiards tournament, she got here to America and completed 2d withinside the National All Men’s Competition (twice). 

As she turned into now gambling right here and there withinside the US, she made records because the first girl to ever play withinside the global billiards title, in which she completed sixth. 

In 1954,  years after she got here in America. She went to Buenos Aires, Argentina, to compete withinside the international championship in which she completed fourth. Even though there have been lots of limitations withinside the Fifties for ladies to play in competitions. Which included billiards, not nothing was regarded to have stopped Katsura and he or she received defying all odds. 

Miss Masako Katsura desired to play more, however, she stated that the character of her husband’s paintings doesn’t permit her to play often.

Ending Of Masako Katsura’s Career

After the 1954 Buenos Aires international championship, Katsura kinda stopped gambling professionally as she used to before. She could compete in nearby tournaments and exhibitions at some stage in the 1950s. She performed her ultimate opposition in opposition to the growing international champion, Harold Worst, in 1961. Surprisingly, she misplaced six of 7 fits and quietly retired.

15 years after her public retirement, Katsura made a wondering look at the Palace Billiards in San Francisco. And ran a whopping hundred factors in a row unexpected to the audience. 

Miss Katsura performed and make a contribution lot of sports activities for women. She turned into given the honor with the aid of using the brand-new Women’s Professional Billiard Association to be part of this organization. 

Welker Cochran, her American supervisor recounted that Katsura has opened a brand new area of sports activities for women, which turned into the first male-dominated.