Masako Katsura(First Lady of Billiards) Brilliant Career & Achievements

In this article, we are going to discuss all the detail about the Japanese billiard player Masako Katsura she is also known as the first lady in the history of Japan. She learned all the skills from his brother in law. And she becomes so skillful to learn all the basic and advanced rules of carom and billiard as well.

Masako Katsura and Japanese billiards player:

Her real name is Masako Katsura and her Japanese name is as (桂 マサ子) and she is also known as Katsura Masako. Her exact date of birth is not known but some media sources said that she was born on 7th March but her year of birth is 1913 and her date of death is 1995. And her nicknamed “Katsy”. And sometimes she was called the “First Lady of Billiards”.Moreover, she was known as an *anise carom billiards player and was most active in the 1950s. 

Masako Katsura as female professional player:

She is also famous and popular as Katsura blazed a trail for women in the sport in Japan. She is also a big name in billiard and carom player. By completing and placing among the best female player, she becomes the male-dominated world of professional billiards

Anese champion:

First of all, we are telling you one important thing is that she was learning the game from her brother-in-law and then she became very famous under the tutelage of *anese champion.

Katsura became the first Japanese*anese-only female professional player. In the championship, Katsy took second place in the country’s national three-cushion billiards championship three times in Japan. In the exhibition, Katsura was noted for running about 10,000 points in that game of straight rail.

Masako Katsura and her married life:

She was a brilliant player before her marriage and she got two big awards before meeting her husband. Her husband was an American soldier in the American Army forces. Her husband’s name is Greenleaf, after marrying a U.S. Army she becomes more famous in those days and she get her husband as a non-commissioned officer in 1950.

Masako Katsura migration:

She emigrated to the United States of America in 1951. There was also invited to play in 1952 in the U.S.A. Katsy sponsored in world three-cushion Championship there. She ultimately took seventh place at that championship in the USA. Katsy was the first woman who is included in any world billiards tournament or we can say championship.

Three cushion crown and exhibition tour:

She got fame and popularity cemented, and she went on an exhibition tour of the United States of America. And there she got eight-time world champion Welker Cochran, and then later she has get with 51-time world champion Willie Hoppe after her marriage. In 1953 and 1954, Katsy again competed for the world three-cushion crown and she was taking fifth and fourth places as well.

Her love affair and Masako Katsura CBS’s primetime television:

Masako Katsura is a very good personality and player. She was seen for the next few years in Japanese history. Katsy made 30 exhibition appearances in 1958, and then she went on a one-week exhibition engagement in the same year with Harold Worst.

But she did not compete in any professional tournaments in the next year. In 1959, Katsy made two television appearances on ABC’s channel and many other networks. Moreover, she becomes one of the faces of the CBS primetime television hit and also on the “What’s My Line show”.

Masako Katsura return again in her game:


Once again, she returned to competition in 1961, and she started her game with the same passion and zeal. She was playing a challenge match for the World Three-Cushion *le against her worst enemy team. And then she is reigning world champion and was also defeated by her. She disappeared from the sport for some time and thereafter she only made a brief impromptu and essential entry appearance in 1976. Katsy moved back to billiard and carom around 1990 and she died in 1995.

Masako Katsura and Advanced Technique in Pool and Billiards:

This piece of saying was taken from her famous interview and we finally excerpted from an interview by Jimmy Cannon and then her interview published in Byrne’s Advanced Technique in Pool and Billiards (1990).

“I practice before the parlor opens every day for two hours. And every day I practice there, Soon I started to play with many men from this world. There were many men want to beat me. I play men, six, seven hours a day. Most men do like me, they do not beat me. If I hit no good, my brother-in-law comes to me, after billiard parlor closed, and then he says this shot no good or this shot bad, I make a good or bad shot. He tells me everything. There were not so many good woman players in this game. And I have a sister too”.

Masako Katsura and her childhood life:

She was born on 7th March 1913 in Tokyo, Japan. Her nickname is “Little” and even she is well known as Katsy in her childhood. She had three sisters and a brother. Her father died when she was only 12 years old and then Katsy went to live with her elder sister and her sister’s husband name is Tomio Kobashi.

Tomio Kobashi and his billiard parlor:

Although Tomio owned a billiard parlor and by 13 years Katsura was spending time in her brother-in-law’s billiard room or parlor. And by the age of 14 years, she was working as a billiard attendant in this parlor. Tomio was a fine player and he taught Katsura all the basic and main fundamentals of many carom billiards games in his parlor. 

She also had a billiard table at her home, and then she bought it from her family afterthought Katsura showed intense interest in this same sport. She practiced diligently and hardworking, and then she start to begin competing against various *anese men and beating them. 

China and Formosa about her:

At just 15 years, she won the women’s championship straight rail tournament in Japan. “Then she turned to the professional game and began touring with a sister all over Japan, China, and Formosa.

She give an interview in 1959. She and her two younger sisters, Noriko and Tadako, also won the women’s straight rail championship in the following years.

Masako Katsura and first meeting with Kinrey Matsuyama:

In the year 1937, she met Kinney Matsuyama in a championship and then they become friends. She had won Japan’s national three-cushion championship multiple times. Kinrey was also champion of U.S. national champion in 1934, and she was also the runner-up three other times then she had four second-place finishes in the world competition at 18.2 points with balkline before World War II.

Kinrey was impressed with her and began teaching her top-level play rules and techniques. By 1947, she was a long-established billiard star game in Japan, and then she becomes the country’s only number one female professional player.

Masako Katsura and her Immigration to the U.S.A and some about her husband:

In the year 1951 Greenleaf transferred to a U.S.A post from Haneda Air Base in Tokyo, Japan. He and her wife, both spoke little English well, and then they set sail for the United States of America on the USS Breckinridge, debarking( Place name) in San Francisco.

At the end of December 1951, a few months before the year 1952 she won the World Three-Cushion Billiards tournament and championship. And she was scheduled to begin in that city on the 6th of March in the same year. 

She had been conditionally invited to play at the world championship after the famous player and his name is Cochran. He was also a famous billiard parlor and he was hosting the tournament he had heard of her brilliance performance and victory goods from Matsuyama. 

Cochran and Masako Katsura’s friendship:

Cochran was an 8-time winner of world champion and he has won the world crown at three-cushion billiards in the years 1933, 1935, 1937, 1938, 1944, and 1945, and at 18.2 points with balkline, in 1927 and 1934 consequently. 

Billiard Congress of America and Masako Katsura:

First Lady of Billiards

One day Cochran sent his son towards W. R. (Dick). And he was a naval officer and present officer in Army stationed in Japan. Also, then he investigate and received back a glowing report about her and then she said about possibly to him and make it an annoyance. And this time he is compelled to say that this girl is better than anyone. Though the decision was ultimately in the hands of the Billiard Congress of America as tournament sponsorship and much winning competition, they gave Cochran the option to invite her warmly. Katsura become the champion of the World Three-Cushion Billiards tournament in 1952.

The first woman to compete for a world in Japan:

If anyone of us is wanting to eliminate three cushions, then no one can beat her and she did not think about her, and then she finds five people in the world of billiard. He could beat her. She has played very well in every game.

Welker Cochran quoted these statements in Byrne’s Advanced Technique in Pool and Billiards in 1990:

These lines were quoted in a famous newspaper and a magazine. Her best games are straight rail and balkline and she will be the three-cushion champion of the world this same year. Katsura has one of the best strokes which anyone can ever see. And thus she shoots as well left-handed as for right-handed. She was a full brilliant game. She loves her billiard and pooling. Katsura enjoying while playing or defeating her own country.

Masako Katsura’s legacy:

On 7th March 2021, she was featured in a Google Doodle on the search engine’s home page and she has become an active part of its celebration of International Women’s Day too. Google Doodle also admired her and also her skills and brilliance.

Masako Katsura’s Tournament roster:

This was about her telling of 10 who were slated to play in the round-robin format tournament in Japan and there were Katsura, her favorite mentor Matsuyama, and also her favorite and defending champion Willie Hoppe. There were also present Mexican champion Joe Chamaco, Herb Hardt of Chicago, New York’s Art Rubin, Los Angeles’ Joe Procita, Ray Kilgore of San Francisco, Jay Bozeman of Vallejo, and Binghamton’s Irving Crane.

Most Frequent Asked Questions about Masako Katsura

1: Who is Masako Katsura?

Ans: Masako was a famous player of billiard and carom. And she was the first lady player not only in Japan but all over the world. She becomes the first champion lady.

2: Why she is famous? 

Ans: Masako is famous for her brilliant performances in carom and Billiard pool tournaments and competitions. She has got 3 times competition.

3: How many times of Masako won the championship?

Ans: In 1952, she won the World Three-Cushion Billiards tournament and championship.

4: How many children does she have?

Ans: Well, she married an Army man and he belongs to the United States of America. His good name is Greenleaf. She married him in the year of 1950. But they both have no children.

5: What is her date of birth?

Ans: Her date of birth is 7th March 1913 and her date of death is 1995.

6: What is her hometown name?

Ans: Her hometown was Tokyo, Japan.

7: What is her brother in law name and what is his profession?

Ans: Masako’s brother-in-law was a very pious man and he owned a billiard parlor in Tokyo. Although, he also knows all skills and techniques of billiard and carom. And his name is Tomio Kobashi.

8: Which game does Masako Katsura play?

Ans: She played pooling, Billiard, and carom in Japan.

9: How many siblings does Masako Katsura have?

Ans: Masako has two younger sisters and their names were Noriko and Tadako.

10: What do you know about Masako’s legacy?

Ans: she was featured in a Google Doodle on the search engine’s home page and also become a special part of women’s international day.


The above details and information are searched on different websites and sourced from various online reports and articles. This website does not guarantee 100% originality of content and data also.

The Final Words:

Masako Katsura was an international and also first lady player of billiard and carom. She is also known as a billiard lady. She belongs to Japan.

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