Masako Katsura: The Queen of Billiards


Billiards is a sport that requires precision, focus, and skill. Masako Katsura, a Japanese billiards player, was known for her exceptional abilities in the game. She became an icon in the billiards world and was even given the nickname “The First Lady of Billiards.” In this article, we will explore the life and achievements of Masako Katsura.

Early Life and Career

Masako Katsura was born in Tokyo, Japan, in 1913. She grew up in a wealthy family and was exposed to various sports, including tennis and horse riding. However, her true passion lay in billiards. At the age of 15, she began playing billiards and quickly became skilled in the game.

In 1930, Katsura participated in a national billiards tournament in Japan and won first place. She continued to win several other tournaments in Japan and gained recognition for her talent.

International Success

In 1937, Katsura traveled to the United States to participate in the World Pocket Billiards Championship. It was a significant moment in her career, as she was the first woman to compete in the tournament. Despite being a newcomer, Katsura displayed remarkable skill and made it to the finals. She faced off against the reigning champion, Irving Crane, and won the tournament with a score of 120-91.

Katsura’s victory at the World Pocket Billiards Championship was groundbreaking, as it challenged the gender norms of the time. She became a sensation and was invited to tour the United States to showcase her skills in billiards.


Katsura continued to play billiards throughout her life and won several other tournaments. However, her biggest contribution to the sport was the inspiration she provided to future generations of female billiards players. She paved the way for women to compete in a sport that was predominantly male-dominated.

Katsura’s legacy can be seen in the Women’s Professional Billiards Association, which was founded in 1976. The association provided a platform for female billiards players to showcase their skills and compete at a professional level. Katsura’s impact on the sport was so significant that she was inducted into the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame in 2003.


Masako Katsura was a trailblazer in the world of billiards. She defied gender norms and showcased her exceptional skill in a sport that was predominantly male-dominated. Her legacy continues to inspire female billiards players around the world, and her impact on the sport will not be forgotten. Masako Katsura will always be remembered as the queen of billiards.

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