Masako Katsura – The First Lady of Pool
Masako Katsura is one of the most celebrated pool players in the world. She won the world championship in 1961, and after that she retired for a long time. Although her husband passed away in 1967, she remained active in the pool world. In 1976, she made an impromptu appearance at a San Francisco pool room. Borrowing a cue from someone in the room, Katsura ran a hundred-point run at a straight rail without any difficulty. Her run was featured in a piece by Robert Byrne.
Known as “Katsy” and the “First Lady of Billiards,” Japanese carom billiards player Masako Katsura broke barriers and set new standards for women in billiards. She was most active during the 1950s and blazed a trail for female billiard players.
Katsura was born in Tokyo, Japan, and began playing pool at an early age. She was taught the game by her brother-in-law, Tomio Kobashi, and soon began working at a billiards club while in high school. After completing her specialisation, she was already a top player by age fifteen.
Katsura’s first major tournament came in 1947 in Japan. She met American soldier and master sergeant Vernon Greenleaf, who had served in the U.S. Army’s Quartermaster Corps for 22 years. The two started taking lessons from each other, and married in 1950. Unfortunately, the two never had children.
In the 1920s, billiard was popular in Tokyo. Katsura’s brother-in-law recognized her talent and gave her a permanent job in one of the pool halls. She spent many hours practicing the game, and at fifteen, she became a national champion. She was coached by the Japanese champion at the time, Kinrey Matsuyama, who introduced her to three-cushion billiards.
Katsura was featured in a Google Doodle on March 7, 2021. The Doodle was designed to commemorate International Women’s Day. Her nickname has become synonymous with female athletics.
Masako Katsura’s career was shaped by a unique set of circumstances. In 1947, she met American serviceman Vernon Greenleaf. He was a master sergeant in the U.S. Army’s Quartermaster Corps, and took billiard lessons from Katsura. In 1950, they were married. Unfortunately, they never had children.
In 1958, Katsura made 30 exhibition appearances and was invited to play in a one-week exhibition with Harold Worst. After this time, she didn’t enter any more professional tournaments. Throughout her career, Katsura appeared on several popular television shows, including “You Asked For It” and “What’s My Line?” In 1960, Katsura appeared on “You Asked For It,” appearing as a mystery guest. After 1961, Katsura disappeared from competition and returned to Japan, where she lived with her sister until her death in 1995.
Katsura’s career began during the 1920s, when billiards became a popular sport in Tokyo. Her father died when she was young, and she was raised by her elder sister, who taught her the sport. She won her first championship at age fifteen. The following year, she was mentored by Kinrey Matsuyama, a man known as the Japanese Willie Hoppe. Matsuyama taught her new skills and helped her to become one of the top players in Asia.
In 1976, Katsura became the first woman inducted into the Women’s Professional Billiard Association Hall of Fame. She moved back to Japan and died peacefully in 1995.
There are many battles between players in the sport of pool. But if there is one player who has consistently outperformed his opponents, it would be Katsura. This Japanese player, who has been in the top tier of the sport since 1999, has the winning streak to back him up. Here are some of the most notable battles he won over the years.
Katsura met American serviceman Vernon Greenleaf when she was stationed in Japan during World War II. They both played billiards, and they began taking lessons from each other. After the war, Katsura married Greenleaf, who served in the U.S. Army for 22 years. They married on November 30, 1950, but never had children.
Katsura also trained with the great billiards player Kinrey Matsuyama, who won numerous national three-cushion championships. He was a master at billiards, and was called the “Japanese Willie Hoppe” by the Times. But in the end, Katsura defeated Matsuyama in three-cushion competitions, where she was able to display her skill and mental toughness.
Katsura competed in a number of exhibition matches. In 1951, she won a series of exhibition matches, and in 1952, she became the first woman to participate in an international billiards tournament. The following year, she competed against two male players, Esekiel and Juan, and took fourth place. For years, Katsura had remained out of the spotlight, but she made a surprise appearance at a World Championship tournament in 1976. In one match, the 63-year-old Katsura racked up a hundred points and bowed in triumph.
Katsura, born in Japan, was the first female to play in the World Billiards Championships in 1953. Katsura was the only woman to make the finals at this event. She played with the sport’s greatest players and often dressed in tight kimonos and high heels. Her business partners also gave her a good dressing code. One of her victims was Danny McGoorty. This story was described by Robert Byrne in his 1972 book, McGoorty, A Pool Room Hustler.
Katsura was 12 years old when her father died. She was raised by her elder sister and her husband. She began playing pool at an early age. She quickly became famous. When she was fourteen, her brother-in-law, Tobio Kobashi, invited her to come to America to play.
Katsura met an American serviceman in 1947. He was stationed in Japan, and the two met. Katsura taught him how to play billiards and they married on November 30, 1950. Unfortunately, the couple never had any children together. The couple divorced in 1962.
During the early 1920s, billiards was very popular in Japan. Katsura’s brother-in-law recognized her talent and offered her a job in a billiard hall. Katsura spent her time perfecting her billiard tricks and won her first championship at age fifteen. This success brought her to the attention of Japan’s champion at the time, Kinrey Matsuyama. He taught her three-cushion billiards. She added her own special touch to the game.
Her career as a billiards player
Kassura’s career as a professional billiards player was started at a young age. His father, a former state champion, opened a pool hall in Metuchen, New Jersey. At the age of four, Kassura began playing the game and training for hours a day. He competed in exhibitions and tournaments at an early age and began running 100 balls at straight pool by age ten. In his early teens, he won the Perth Amboy City Championship, but was denied entry the following year.
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