Billiards’ First Lady: The Incredible Story of Masako Katsura

Billiards has seen many incredible players come and go over the years, but no one has been quite as impressive as Masako Katsura. Born in Tokyo, Japan, Katsura didn’t even begin playing the sport until she was 18, but by the time she retired from the tour 20 years later she had set multiple world records and had won every tournament, there was to win at least twice over no small feat for such an intense sport! Even more impressive than her achievements was her sheer mastery of the game, beating male competitors with relative ease as if it were child’s play.

An overview

Masako Katsura was born in 1917. Billiards had been a male-dominated sport for many years when she was introduced to it. Despite her gender, she excelled and became the first person to ever receive the Billiard Congress of America’s Female Player of the Year award. She was also inducted into the BCA Hall of Fame in 1991, as well as named one of their 50 most influential people in billiards history. She is fondly remembered by players today as an inspiration.

Training at age 6, winning at age 14

Masako Katsura was born in Japan and first started playing billiards at the age of 6. She then went on to win the National Junior Billiard Championship in 1958, at age 14. In 1961, she won the Women’s World Billiard Championship and became known as the First Lady of Billiards. Her skill is a testament to how important it is to train hard from an early age and never give up.

Becoming the first female pro in her 20s

Masako Katsura the first lady of billiard

Masako Katsura was born in Japan in 1934. As a child, she would practice shooting pool with her father. I learned how to play by watching my dad shoot, she recalls. I really wanted to be like him. This year, the International Olympic Committee voted to make billiards an official Olympic sport and it’s safe to say that the 72-year-old has been instrumental in the game’s success as an amateur and professional player.

It’s also worth noting that she is the first woman to ever become a pro pool player, doing so at the age of 20 when most women her age would be housewives and mothers.

Beginning a family and returning to billiard after 2 decades

After watching her husband fall in love with billiards, she became enamored with the sport herself. And after taking a 20-year hiatus from the game to raise their children, she came back strong and won her first national title at the age of 40.

It’s easy to have a family and also play, she said about juggling life in sports. I think it’s just as important for men to help with housework and child care.

Achieving another world record

Masako Katsura has been the world’s highest-ranked female professional player for over ten years, and she was the first woman to ever be inducted into the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame. In 2007, at age 41, she became the first woman to break a male-only record by achieving her third perfect game in a row.

Masako Katsura the first lady of billard

She began playing billiards when she was nine, after a boy in her neighborhood asked her to come over and watch him play. She fell in love with it right away, and she wasn’t even afraid to tell her parents that’s what she wanted to do with her life.

She also had an advantage over most other beginners: growing up, there were three pool tables in their house. By age 16, she was winning local tournaments. Within five years of taking up the sport full-time, she became one of Japan’s top players. She won three straight women’s singles titles from 2005-2007 at the World Three-Cushion Billiard Championships and broke world records for consecutive runs and total runs in 2005 as well!

Her current career as a professional billiard instructor

Since the age of 16, Ms. Katsura has been a professional billiard player and instructor in Japan, where she is often referred to as the First Lady of Billiards. She was one of only four women on the billiard team for the 1972 Olympics in Munich, Germany, and was also a member of the national team for 13 years until she retired from competitive play in 1982. After retirement, she founded a company that manufactures and sells billiard cues to the public. Today, her company produces more than 10 thousand cues per year and exports them to more than 30 countries around the world.

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