First Lady of Billiards Masako Katsura Proves Girls Can Play With the Boys
Who is Masako Katsura? When it comes to billiards, there are many well-known male players from across the globe; however, there have been very few female players who have reached that level of renown. One woman who has achieved such notoriety is Masako Katsura, affectionately referred to as the First Lady of Billiards in her native Japan. With her tough but graceful style of play and her thorough knowledge of the game’s history and rules, she has been able to bridge the gap between genders on the tables and become one of the most well-known players in the history of pool and billiards.
Katsura’s love for pool
Masako Katsura First Lady of Billiards is a female billiard prodigy. She was born in Japan and began playing pool at age 12. At age 13 she won her first Japanese championship, and by age 16 she had been ranked number one in Japan. She has gone on to win many more tournaments and prove that girls can play with boys. In 2000, she became the World Lady’s Nine-ball Champion, setting a new record for the youngest player to ever do so. Later that year she also became the Women’s National Nine-ball Championship winner.
Then, when she was only 17 years old, she competed in what would be her biggest challenge: becoming the Women’s Professional Eight-ball Champion. And as if being named The Fastest Player Alive from 2003 to 2006 wasn’t enough, in 2005 Katsura set two Guinness Book of World Records: Youngest Woman to Achieve 200 or More Accumulated Points (Pin Ball) and Youngest Woman to Achieve 1,000 or More Accumulated Points (Pin Ball).
How Katsura became the First Lady of Billiards
Masako Katsura has been called The First Lady of Billiards. She has a long history of billiards, starting with her childhood experience playing in her father’s pool hall. When she was 17, she became the first woman to be ranked as a professional by the Women’s Professional Billiard Association (WPBA). She won WPBA Rookie of the Year honors in 1984 and was also inducted into their Hall of Fame. Her competitive record is impressive: ten world titles, thirteen national titles, and four Asian Games gold medals.
Masako’s story is an inspirational one for girls who are interested in sports that are traditionally dominated by men.
Katsura’s career highlights
Masako Katsura is one of the world’s top female billiard players. In her career, she has won six world championships and was ranked number one in both Japan and China. Her father, a carpenter, introduced her to billiards when she was 11 years old. She excelled quickly and soon began practicing for up to 12 hours a day. Katsura became so good that in 1984 she made history by becoming the first woman to ever win a tournament at Japan’s National Tournament for Male Players.
To date, she remains the only woman to have done so. In addition to being an accomplished player herself, Masako Katsura also has established herself as an instructor and coach. She’s taught many students how to play with her methods which are characterized by long periods of patient waiting followed by short bursts of intense action. As such, there are many who say that no other living person understands the Japanese pool, as well as Masako Katsura, does.
What the future holds for Katsura
Masako Katsura has won over 10,000 tournaments and is ranked as one of the best female billiard players in the world. She’s also a motivational speaker for girls who want to break into male-dominated fields. But when she’s not playing, she spends her time working on her newest passion:
opening a traditional Japanese restaurant in Tokyo. The American Dream is all about creating your own future, said Katsura. I thought I had done that with the pool, but then I found this amazing opportunity in Japan. And while she’ll still be traveling to promote pool and give lectures on the sport, her first love will be cuisine. The first thing you do at any restaurant eats said Katsura. And now I get to make all my favorite dishes.
And while it’s exciting to start a whole new chapter, she misses playing in tournaments. It’s always sad when you leave something you love but I’m still competing at a high level, just not against other pool players anymore. Still, there are plenty of opportunities for her on her path ahead. The next big thing.
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