Masako Katsura – The Queen of Billiards

Billiards is a sport that requires precision, strategy, and patience. It is a game that tests one’s mental and physical abilities. Masako Katsura, also known as the “Empress of Billiards” and the “Queen of Billiards,” was a Japanese billiards player who made a name for herself in the male-dominated sport of billiards. Her achievements and contributions to the game have earned her a spot in the history of billiards.

Early Life and Introduction to Billiards

Masako katsura was born in 1913 in Tokyo, Japan. Her father owned a billiards hall, and she grew up playing billiards from a young age. She quickly became enamored with the game and started to develop her skills. However, in the early 1900s, billiards was considered a man’s sport, and women were not allowed to play in public billiards halls. Masako had to practice in secret, playing in her father’s billiards hall after it had closed for the day.

Career in Billiards

Despite the gender bias, Masako Katsura’s passion for billiards never wavered. She honed her skills and eventually began to play in tournaments. In 1949, she won the All-Japan Championship, becoming the first woman to win a national title in billiards. She went on to win the championship four more times in 1950, 1951, 1952, and 1953.

Masako’s victories in the All-Japan Championship earned her international recognition, and she was invited to participate in the World Billiards Championship in 1952. Masako made history by becoming the first woman to compete in the World Billiards Championship, finishing in fourth place. She went on to compete in the championship again in 1953 and 1954.


Masako Katsura’s contributions to billiards went beyond her victories in tournaments. She was a pioneer for women in the sport, breaking barriers and challenging the norms of a male-dominated game. Her achievements inspired a new generation of female billiards players and helped to pave the way for future generations of women in the sport.

In recognition of her contributions to billiards, Masako was inducted into the Billiard Congress of America’s Hall of Fame in 2004, becoming the first woman to receive this honor. Her legacy continues to inspire and motivate billiards players around the world.


Masako Katsura was a trailblazer for women in billiards. Her passion, perseverance, and skill helped her to achieve victories in a sport that was not welcoming to women. Her legacy serves as a reminder that with hard work and determination, anyone can overcome obstacles and achieve greatness. The Empress of Billiards will always be remembered as one of the greatest billiards players of all time.

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