Masako Katsura: The First Lady of Billiards

Masako Katsura

Billiards is a sport often dominated by men, but in the early 1900s, a Japanese woman named Masako Katsura broke the mold and became one of the most skilled players in the world. With her natural talent and dedication to the game, Katsura earned the nickname “The First Lady of Billiards.” This article will explore how Masako Katsura rose to fame and became a trailblazer for women in the sport.

Early Life and Introduction to Billiards

Masako Katsura was born in Tokyo, Japan, on November 5, 1913. Her father was a prominent businessman who encouraged his daughter to pursue her interests and passions. When Katsura was just 13 years old, she was introduced to the game of billiards by her father’s friend, who happened to own a billiards hall. Katsura quickly became enamored with the game and began playing whenever she could.

Training and Development

Katsura’s natural talent for billiards was undeniable, and she soon began to train more seriously. She practiced for hours each day, honing her skills and developing her own unique style of play. Katsura also studied the game intensely, analyzing the techniques of other players and experimenting with new strategies.

Rise to Fame

Katsura’s dedication and hard work paid off, and she quickly became one of the top billiards players in Japan. In 1935, she won the All-Japan Women’s Billiards Championship, the first of many titles she would go on to win. Katsura’s success in Japan led her to compete internationally, and in 1952, she won the World Billiards Championship in London. She became the first woman to win the championship, a groundbreaking moment for women in the sport.

Legacy and Impact

Masako Katsura’s billiards accomplishments were groundbreaking, inspiring many women to take up the sport. Her success also helped to break down gender barriers in the world of billiards, paving the way for future generations of women players. Katsura continued to play billiards competitively into her 80s, and she remained an ambassador for the sport throughout her life.


Masako Katsura’s legacy as “The First Lady of Billiards” is a testament to her dedication, talent, and hard work. Her sports accomplishments were remarkable, inspiring generations of women to follow in her footsteps. Katsura’s impact on billiards will not be forgotten, and her contributions to the sport will continue to be celebrated for years.



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