masako katsura

Pool Player Masako Katsura was a prolific professional billiard player and became famous as the “First Lady of Billiards.” Born in Tokyo, Japan, on March 7 1913, she is best known for her years of competition between 1933 and 1959. She won four world titles, three European Open Championships, and the U.S. Open six times during that time. She also holds the record for the most consecutive wins at the World Championship, eleven from 1957 to 1966. In 2002, Masako was inducted into the World Professional Billiards & Pool Hall of Fame.

Early Life and Career of Masako Katsura

Masako Katsura was born in Tokyo, Japan, on March 7, 1913. She is a professional pool player and has won numerous tournaments worldwide. Katsura started playing pool when she was five and quickly became skilled. In 1982, at eighteen, Katsura became the world champion in the professional women’s pool.

In 1985, Katsura joined the Professional Billiards Association (PBA) and has since been one of its most successful players. Her record includes seven PBA Women’s World Champions titles (1994-1999), three Ladies Player of the Year Awards (1993, 1997, 2001), and two PBA Player of the Year Awards (1996, 1998).

Outside of professional pool play, Katsura also enjoys cooking and philanthropy. She opened her Tokyo restaurant called “Katsura Kitchen”, which focuses on Japanese cuisine. Additionally, Katsura contributes to various charities worldwide through her outreach work with Unicef Japan and Kokoro no Hana.

The 1930s: Masako Begins to Play Professionally

The 1930s mark the start of Masako Katsura’s professional pool career. Born in 1932, Katsura started playing as a child and quickly became one of Japan’s top players. In 1958, she first appeared at the World Pool Championship, finishing in eighth place. She made 14 more appearances at the event but has yet to medal. Her crowning moment came at the 1972 World Amateur Championship, where she lifted the silver medal after losing to eventual champion Bonnie Glaser in the semifinal round. After retiring from competition in 1975, Katsura continued to coach and teach pool at various colleges around Japan.

World War II: Masako serves in the Women’s Army Corps

Masako Katsura served in the Women’s Army Corps during World War II. She was one of the first women in Japan to be drafted into the military, and she went on to become a professional pool player. Katsura was stationed in China, performing administrative duties, including organizing food supplies and issuing military directives. In 1945, after the war ended, she returned home to Japan and resumed her career as a professional pool player. She competed in many tournaments worldwide and became known for her expert playing skills. Katsura passed away in 2009 at the age of 93.

Post-War Opportunities for Women in Sports

Masako Katsura is one of the most decorated pool players in history, and her story is fascinating. Katsura was born in 1937, and during her career, she won more than 200 tournaments worldwide, including eight world championships. In 1985, she was inducted into the International Pool Players’ Association Hall of Fame. But Katsura’s story begins long before she achieved international fame.

Before becoming a professional pool player, Masako worked as a bar hostess and casino dealer. In 1958, she became the first woman to win a professional tournament in Japan. The following year, she competed in her first international event and rose to prominence on the competitive circuit. It wasn’t until 1973 she won her first World Championship title. Since then, Katsura has remained one of the most accomplished female pool players in history. Her ever-growing accolades are a testament to her skill and the opportunities available to women in the sport during the postwar period.

The Rest of Masako Katsura’s Career

Masako Katsura, a professional pool player career spanned 32 years and began in the early 1980s. She is among the most successful female pool players of all time, having won numerous tournaments and earned a reputation as one of the world’s finest pocket billiards players.

However, Katsura’s story continues after her professional successes. She is also well-known for her work with charities, including contributing to tsunami relief efforts after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. As a result, she has been honoured with numerous accolades, including being awarded an honorary doctorate from Kyoto University.


Masako Katsura is a professional pool player who has played for over thirty years. She has won numerous awards and championships, including ten World Championships and three Ladies’ World Championships. In 2006, she was awarded the prestigious Bernard King Humanitarian Award for her work with needy children. Masako Katsura inspires all who know her, and her story should be shared with as many people as possible.

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