Information About Masako Katsura
Masako Katsura, also known as Katsy, was born in 1913 in Tokyo. She was a Japanese carom player who won $10,000 in an exhibition game of straight rail! By playing against the greatest in a male-dominated activity, she blazed a trail for women in the sport. Imagine this lady as the Beth Harmon of the professional billiard world if you’ve seen the Queens Gambit. She was the most active in the 1950s and the only female professional player in Japan. She finished second in the country’s national three-cushion billiards championship three times in competition in Japan.
She married a U.S. citizen and moved to the United States with him in 1951. Masako was asked to compete in the World Three-Cushion Championship, which was sponsored by the United States, and she placed eighth. She was the first woman to compete in a world billiards championship. As a result, she decided to go on an exhibition tour.
How did she get started in the first place?
Masako Katsura, unlike Beth Harmon, was not an orphan, although her father died when she was just 12 years old. She afterwards moved in with her older sister, whose husband ran a billiards parlour. She began to spend time there, and by the age of 13, she was working for him as a billiard attendant. Because of her curiosity, he taught her the fundamentals and had a table gifted to her home.
Masako Katsura put in a lot of practise time and then started playing against Japanese guys, which she won. She won the women’s straight rail championship event in Japan when she was only 15 years old. She became a professional after that and began travelling Asia. Noriko and Tadako, her younger sisters, have also won the women’s straight rail championship.
Champion of the Universe
Some may argue that Katsura was neither successful or even a good player because she never won a world title. That could not be further from the truth. She was one of America’s biggest and most popular celebrities in her day, one of the most naturally gifted billiards players who wowed crowds of thousands in massive touring exhibitions she staged, all with her famous smile, fierce determination to succeed, and passionate drive to promote women’s participation in cue sports. Her legacy is nearly incomprehensible. She is really deserving of the moniker “First Lady of Billiards.”
Katsura, a Japanese cue sport legend, paved the way for women in the sport by participating and placing among the best in the male-dominated world of professional billiards. She went to America in 1950 after marrying an American soldier and exhibiting with the greats of the period, like eight-time champion Welker Cochran and 51-time World Champion Willie Hoppe.
Who cares if she didn’t win the world title?
Take a look at what she did for women in billiards and other cue sports. She made it acceptable for women to participate in these sports. She exemplifies what it means to be a trailblazer. And she relished every moment of her illustrious existence. She was adored by her followers, and she was adored by them. It’s tough to comprehend how significant she was in the world we live in in 2021. Until Katsura came along, seeing women play a cue sport, or even ladies in pool and snooker halls, was scandalous, and many people despised the idea. The fact that she did it and received love and adoration for it demonstrates what a wonderful, kind, formidable, and clever soul she was.
Katsura faded into obscurity after 1995, although he was never forgotten in Japan. However, as part of the 2021 International Women’s Day celebrations, Google presented a Google Doodle honouring Katsura on March 7th, 2021. And I’ve seen a lot of folks on Twitter asking the most basic of questions: who is it? Masako Katsura, to be precise.
Not only is she the First Lady of Billiards, but she is also one of the most outstanding and amazing athletes in the world.