Masako Katsura has had a long and successful career in billiards. As the first lady of the professional circuit, she has helped to shape and mould the game into what it is today – a challenging and exciting sport that all can enjoy. Be inspired by her story and learn how she has succeeded where so many others have failed!
Masako Katsura’s story
Masako Katsura was a performing billiards player who won many international tournaments. She also became the first lady of the sport, helping to grow it into an Olympic event. Her story is one of dedication and hard work.
Born in Japan in 1913, Masako started playing billiards at a young age. At the time, it was considered a men’s sport, and she had to battle against many barriers to compete. But her determination won her many victories, including two world championships and nine international tournaments.
In 1971, she set a record by becoming the first woman to win an international championship. The following year, she retired from professional play but continued to help grow the sport, serving on the International Billiard Federation’s board of directors for three years.
Masako passed away in 2008 at 84 after a long illness. She will always be remembered for her remarkable achievements in billiards and for being an inspiration to others.
What was it like to be the First Lady of Billiards?
As the First Lady of Billiards, Masako Katsura oversaw all aspects of the sport, from officiating to promoting it nationally. She was also instrumental in helping to bring international competitions to Japan and develop the game domestically. In an interview with The Japan Times, Katsura recounted her experiences as both First Lady and Governor of Ishikawa Prefecture—a post she held from 1992 to 1995.
Masako Katsura’s life revolved entirely around the game of billiards. Born in Tokyo in 1913, she became passionately interested in the sport at an early age. After marrying Hirotoshi Katsura in 1959, she organised tournaments and promoted the game nationally. It wasn’t until 1966 that she took on the role of First Lady when her husband was appointed Ishikawa Governor.
While managing both her role as First Lady and overseeing governorship, Katsura continued to promote billiards throughout Japan. Her efforts led to Japanese teams qualifying for global events, such as the PBA World Series of Pool, for the first time. She also organised several international competitions, including world championships (in 1978) and junior championships (in 1982). Above all else, though, Masako Katsura is most celebrated for her work developing Japanese billiards as a playable art form within domestic competition circles.
Lessons learned from Masako Katsura
Masako Katsura is one of the most accomplished pool players in history. Born in 1913, she was the ﬁrst girl to win a major professional championship, holds records for the most international matches won, and is voted female player of the year six times. She also served as Japan’s ambassador to Spain, Monaco and Curacao.
Masako faced many challenges during her career that other women in sports would later meet. Despite being sponsored by some of the biggest companies in Japan, she faced discrimination from her male peers and employers. She also had to balance her career with raising two young children while juggling international travel. Despite all these struggles, she has remained an unrivalled champion and supporter of women’s rights.
Masako’s story inspires anyone who has fought to achieve their goals despite obstacles. She has shown us that anything is possible if you are willing to work hard enough for it.
How can we apply her lessons to our lives?
Masako Katsura was born in 1913,in Kyoto, Japan. As a teenager, she began playing billiards and quickly became one of the best players in Japan. In 1922, she married the reigning Japanese billiards champion, Shoichi Katsura. The couple moved to Shanghai to participate in international tournaments. Although Masako was Marocchi’s world champion, and Shoichi held various other world titles, they still needed to win significant championships while living in China.
In 1930, they returned to Japan and settled in Tokyo. That year, Masako won her first major championship – the All-Japan Women’s Billiards Championship – and the Women’s World Hard Billiards Championship with a record score of 403 points. She continued to dominate Japanese women’s billiards for the next few years and gained admiration from her fellow players and spectators.
In 1933, Masako married again – this time to a geologist named Hashimoto Tadashi – and changed her last name to Katsura. The couple had two children together before divorcing in 1938.
Masako then travelled extensively throughout Asia and Europe to compete in various tournaments. She even played against some of the biggest names in professional billiards, including Johnny Sarazen and Willie Mosconi. Her final tournament victory came at the 1949 European Ladies Open, where she defeated Lady Doris Browne 15-12 in the final match. You can also buy biography on Amazon