Masako Katsura – The First Woman to Compete in a Major Billiards Tournament
The name ‘Katsy’ (or “Katsy”) may conjure up images of a 1950s carom billiards star. The former Japanese professional blazed a trail for women in the sport and won six world championships, two of them in the 18.2 Bokeline category. Katsura was the first woman to compete in a major billiards tournament.
Masako Katsura was a professional billiards player
As a child, Masako Katsura was just like any other young girl growing up in Tokyo. Her father passed away when she was only twelve years old. The following year, she began taking lessons from a fellow serviceman, Master Sergeant Vernon Greenleaf. The two eventually got married on November 30, 1950. The couple never had children. Katsura continued to play billiards and won many tournaments, but it wasn’t until she was 77 years old that she reached her peak.
Katsura’s competitiveness in the sport began when she was just 14. She began playing billiards after her mother encouraged her. She began competing against men and won many tournaments, including the world championship in the straight rail in 1956. After achieving success as a player, Katsura went on to create her own foundation to teach underprivileged children how to play billiards. Today, she is an inspiration to aspiring athletes and those who want to make a difference.
Katsura was born in 1913 and grew up in Tokyo. Her father had died when she was 12, so she moved in with her sister and her husband. While working at the billiard hall, she started playing billiards, and won her first championship at fifteen. She eventually began studying carom billiards with her mother’s former student, Kinrey Matsuyama, a famous billiard player.
She was invited to compete in the 1953 world billiards championship in the United States by Vernon Greenleaf, who arranged her first exhibition match. During this time, Katsura met billiards champion Kinrey Matsuyama, who hired her as an attendant. Katsura’s skills soon led her to be Japan’s first professional billiards player. She eventually invested her earnings in a home billiards table and began practicing carom billiards.
In the 1950s, Katsura continued to compete in exhibitions and tournaments, and was even entered into a world championship as a woman in 1954. She finished fourth in the tournament, and was then quietly retired from the sport. She was still very sharp with a cue, however, and a few years later, she returned to her native country to play a few exhibitions.
She won six world championships
The history of women’s hockey is littered with champions, but few can match the achievements of Mary McDonnell. This Hungarian-born athlete won six world championships and fourteen national titles between 1994 and 2006. In the first two years after the Olympics, she was only ranked in the lower half of the rankings, and after a year of injury, she dropped to the bottom 50. However, she bounced back and reached the top ten in 2016.
Her last title came in 2001, and she was the first woman to win the heavyweight title. The ring was a roaring place that echoed her emotions after the win. As the crowd chanted her name, Mary Kom sobbed as she celebrated her victory. In this way, Mary Kom became the first woman to win six world championship gold medals, and surpassed the five she won during her career. She now ranks just one spot behind Felix Savon, who also won six gold medals.
She won two world championships in the 18.2 Bokeline
Japanese judo champion Masako Katsura, pictured at the 1958 Olympics, has won the world championship twice. She notably defeated the reigning world champion, Matsuyama, in the 182 Bokeline in 1952. Katsura won both games by scoring a total of 500 points. The match was covered by Time magazine. Katsura also won the 18.2 Bokeline in 1954, when she defeated the Argentinean Ray Kilgore, nicknamed “the Giant Killer.”
Katsura first took up the sport when she was eleven, after her brother-in-law taught her the basics of the game. Her parents built a pool table at home, and she practiced hard to compete with Japanese men. She won a straight rail tournament in her home country at age 15, and soon became a professional. In her later years, she traveled to China and Taiwan to win championships. Her sister Katsura also won a women’s straight rail tournament. She met Matsuyama, who later went on to win the All Japan Three-Cushion Championship.
Katsura was so good at billiards that she quickly became a celebrity in the United States. At one point, she had already finished second in two Japanese three-cushion tournaments. In addition to her billiard skills, she also became engaged to American Air Force serviceman Vernon Greenleaf, who had been stationed at Haneda Air Base in Tokyo. In the meantime, she married Greenleaf in 1950. When she returned to the States, Greenleaf invited her to attend a match at the San Francisco Billiards Club.
After a successful amateur career, Katsura turned professional and toured the world, winning the women’s straight rail championships in Japan. Eventually, Katsura was able to win the women’s straight rail championship in Japan, and she went on to win the world championship in the same category in two other years. Katsura is now known as the “First Lady of Billiards” and is considered one of the most successful players in history.
She started playing billiards at age 14. She was born in Tokyo in 1913 and took up the sport at an early age. The encouragement she received from her mother motivated her to pursue billiards, as she was prone to physical problems. Her mother encouraged her to continue playing and to grow stronger. This made her a sensation in the sport. While her winnings were small, her legacy will be forever.
She was the first woman to compete in any world billiards tournament
In the mid-1930s, Masako Katsura began playing billiards. She was a young girl when her father died, leaving her with three sisters and one brother. She lived with her older sister and her husband. While she was growing up, her older sister, who was a billiards champion, encouraged her to learn the sport. The pair played billiards on a regular basis, and Katsura learned from her sister and the husband of her older sister.
After the war, the Japanese re-joined American friendly competition, and by 1950, Katsura had reached the top ranks of the sport in Asia. She was able to compete with men in some of the world’s most prestigious tournaments, including the World Billiards Championship and the World Cue Sports Championship. In 1947, she met a fellow billiards player, Sergeant Vernon Greenleaf, who became her coach. The two married in 1950, and Katsura remained in the United States until her death in 2005.
Masako Katsura was born in 1913 in Tokyo, Japan. As a youngster, she was playing billiards in her brother’s game room. She was the first Japanese woman to compete in a world championship. Katsura’s sisters also won the women’s straight rail championship in other years. After retirement, she lived a normal life.
Katsura’s success at the world snooker championship in 1958 helped make her a famous celebrity in America. She played to thousands of people in her vast touring exhibitions. In addition, she was a passionate advocate for women’s participation in cue sports. The first woman to compete in a world billiards tournament, Katsura became the first female player to participate in one of the oldest sports in the world.
Katsura won the Japanese women’s straight rail championship at the age of fifteen. Three years later, she became Japan’s first female professional player. In addition to women’s billiards championships, Katsura also won the first three-cushion tournament. A year after coming to the United States, she placed fifth in the eighth All Japan Three Cushion Championship.