Masako Katsura, or “Katsy” as she was fondly known, was an incredible carom billiards player born in 1913. Her success in the 1950s earned her the nickname “First Lady of Billiards” due to her domination of the sport. Read on to learn more about Katsy’s amazing life story and discover why she deserves to be remembered with such high regard.

Introduction to Masako Katsura

Masako Katsura was born on March 7, 1913, in Tokyo, Japan. She started playing pool at the age of eight and won her first tournament at age eleven. Katsura quickly rose to prominence in the world of billiards, winning multiple world championships and setting numerous world records. She is widely considered to be the greatest female billiards player of all time.

Katsura’s success in the sport has earned her the nickname “First Lady of Billiards.” She has been inducted into both the International Pool Hall of Fame and the Women’s Sports Hall of Fame. In addition to her many accomplishments in the sport of billiards, Katsura is also a successful businesswoman, author, and philanthropist.

Early Life and Career Achievements

Masako Katsura was born on march 7, 1913, in Yokohama, Japan. She began playing pool at the age of seven, and quickly developed into a world-class player.

Katsura won her first world championship in 1979 when she captured the Women’s World Nine-ball Championship. She would go on to win that event an unprecedented five more times in the 1980s. In addition to her six World Nine-ball titles, Katsura also won the Women’s World Eight-ball Championship three times and the Women’s World Straight Pool Championship twice.

Katsura’s dominance of the women’s pool continued into the 1990s and 2000s. She won the Women’s World Nine-ball Championship again in 2000 and 2001, making her the only player to ever win that event seven times. She also won the Women’s World Eight-ball Championship four more times in that decade, bringing her total number of world titles to an astounding 15.

In 2006, Katsura was inducted into the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame, solidifying her legacy as one of the greatest pool players of all time.

Impact on the Billiards Community

When most people think of Billiards, they think of men in smoky pool halls, leaning over a table with a cue stick in hand. But Masako Katsura was different. She was the undisputed “First Lady Of Billiards” who dominated the sport during the 1960s and 1970s.

Born in Osaka, Japan in 1935, Katsura began playing pool at the age of nine. She quickly became a force to be reckoned with, winning her first national championship at the age of 15. She went on to win more than 30 titles in her native country before making the move to the United States in 1967.

In America, Katsura quickly made a name for herself by winning almost every tournament she entered. She was especially successful in nine-ball, becoming the first woman to win the World Nine-Ball Championship in 1976. She also won the prestigious All-Around World Championships three times (1977, 1978, 1979).

While Katsura’s success on the pool table was undeniable, she also faced discrimination as a woman in a male-dominated sport. In an interview with ESPN shortly before she died in 2015, she spoke about how difficult it was to be taken seriously as a female player:

“They would say things like women belonged in the kitchen and they couldn’t play pool,” she said. “It made me so mad that I wanted to show them that I could play just as well as any man

Masako Katsura Major Victories

Masako Katsura was a world-renowned billiards player who dominated the sport in the early 20th century. She was born in 1887 in Osaka, Japan and began playing pool at the age of seven. She quickly became a prodigy, winning her first national championship at the age of nine.

Katsura went on to have an incredibly successful career, winning countless championships and setting numerous world records. In 1934, she became the first woman to ever be inducted into the Billiard Congress of America’s Hall of Fame. She retired from competitive play in 1952 but remained active in the sport as an instructor and promoter until she died in 1999.

Katsura’s Legacy

Katsura Masako was a Japanese professional pool player who was active in the 1950s and 1960s. She is consider to be the first successful female pool player and was nickname the “First Lady of Billiards”.

Katsura began playing pool at the age of 15 when she was working as a waitress in a pool hall. She quickly became good enough to start competing in tournaments. In 1955, she won her first major tournament, the Women’s World Championship. She would go on to win this tournament four more times, making her the most successful female pool player of all time.

Besides her success in tournaments, Katsura also gave exhibition matches and trick-shot performances all over the world. She toured with famed pool player Willie Mosconi and even beat him in an exhibition match. Her popularity led to her featured in magazines and newspapers, including Life Magazine and The New York Times.

Katsura’s legacy continues today; she is consider to be one of the greatest pool players of all time, male or female. Her accomplishments have inspire many women to take up the sport and strive for success.


Masako Katsura was an incredible force in the world of billiards who laid the foundation for modern-day players. She changed the game and her determination to achieve greatness should serve as a reminder to all aspiring athletes that with hard work, anything is possible. Her accomplishments still stand today as a testament to her skill and dedication, cementing her legacy as one of the best billiard players of all time.

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