Masako Katsura: Who Was She?
As a world-class female billiards player, Masako Katsura paved the way for future female players to be included in the sport and make meaningful contributions.
Masako katsura japanese woman for the first time in history to compete on the international billiards stage, Masako “Katsy” Katsura made her mark in Japan as an unprecedented opponent in a traditionally male-dominated sport. Then she conquered the rest of the world by competing in international tournaments – and winning them – no matter who she faced.
Tokyo’s Early Days
Billiards player masako katsura was born in Tokyo in 1913, she grew up in a strict household led by her strict mother, who encouraged her to take up billiards after her father passed away.
Her mother encouraged her to learn billiards early to make Masako stronger mentally and physically.
During the 1920s, Tokyo was a thriving city for billiards. Masako Katsura’s brother-in-law owned a billiard hall, which allowed her to discover her natural talent.
As a result, she caught the attention of Japan’s champion at the time, Kinrey Matsuyama, also referred to as the Japanese Willie Hoppe. Matsuyama began coaching Katsura. Also, he introduced her to three-cushion billiards.
Her knack for trick shots and her newfound precision with three-cushion billiards started paving a path beyond her wildest dreams.
She’s bringing her game to America.
She optimized her career however she could, first performing a one-woman show for Japanese troops and then performing billiard tricks for American troops after the war.
A champion named Welker Cochran invited her to the USA because of her skill and grace.
In 1951, Katsura moved to California. She was shocked to see the lack of women on the scene then. Women had worked and played in billiard halls all over Japan then, but that wasn’t the case in the USA. American billiard halls were for men, by men, and clearly referred to as a male domain.
Billiards’ First Lady
Welker Cochran became pool masako katsura‘s manager. He advocated for her in the media, saying things like:
I AM CONVINCED NOW THAT THE GAME HAS FINALLY GOT A WOMAN PLAYER WHO CAN COMPETE AGAINST THE GREATEST OF MEN PLAYERS.”
However, the press paid more attention to the player carom billiards masako katsura gender than her abilities.
When Katsura started to play more and more champions, she rose in the ranks. As she did, both media and her opponents watched in admiration.
Throughout the 1950s, player of billiard masako katsura ranked near the top in all her international tournaments, winning and placing successfully, regardless of gender. She became the face of billiards worldwide after paving the way for women to play the sport. In 1961, however, she retired after losing to the reigning world champion Harold Worst.
As the first woman to compete in an international billiards tournament, she is known as the “First Lady of Billiards.”
The Legacy of Masako Katsura
Having the “power of a man” and making the sport more attractive to women, Masako Katsura opened up a new field for women.
Her last appearance was in 1976 at a San Francisco billiards parlour. She grabbed a cue, scored a 100-point run, and disappeared. Masako katsura age was 82 when she died. Masako katsura cause of death was her illness.
Her impact on billiards and culture, in general, is remarkable. So much so, in fact, that she’s now regularly depicted in pop art, articles about powerful women who’ve made an impact, and even her own Google Doodle animation! You can also buy the book about her here.