Masako Katsura Billiards – The First Lady of Billiards That Brought Women into This Sport

Masako Katsura Billiards


Masako Katsura Billiards was a Japanese professional billiards player who gained recognition in the 1950s as the first woman to compete in international billiards tournaments. She was instrumental in breaking gender barriers in billiards and paving the way for women to participate in the sport.

Early Life and Career:

Masako Katsura Billiards was born on December 6, 1913, in Tokyo, Japan. She began playing billiards at the age of 12, inspired by her father who owned a billiards hall. Katsura quickly showed a natural talent for the sport and began competing in local tournaments. In 1949, she became the first woman to win the Japanese National Billiards Championship.

Breaking Gender Barriers:

Katsura’s success in Japan led her to compete in international billiards tournaments, becoming the first woman to do so. In 1952, she traveled to the United States to compete in the World Professional Billiards Championship. Despite facing skepticism and discrimination from male players and organizers, Katsura persevered and advanced to the semi-finals, finishing in third place. She continued to compete in international tournaments, earning the nickname “First Lady of Billiards.”


Katsura’s pioneering efforts in billiards opened the doors for women to participate in the sport at the professional level. She inspired other women to take up billiards and helped to break down gender barriers in the male-dominated sport. In 2006, Katsura was inducted into the Billiard Congress of America’s Hall of Fame, cementing her legacy as a trailblazer for women in billiards.


Masako Katsura was a remarkable athlete who defied gender stereotypes and paved the way for women in billiards. Her talent, determination, and courage made her a trailblazer and an inspiration for future generations of female billiards players.



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