Google animated Doodle celebrates ambidextrous Japanese sharpshooter and carom billiards player Masako “The First Lady of Billiards” Katsura (桂 マサ子), nicknamed “Katsy” who made history as the first woman to compete for an international billiards championship on this day in 1952, on March 7, 2021.
Who was Masako Katsura (桂 マサ子)?
Masako Katsura (桂 マサ子) was born in Tokyo in 1913. She got billiards at age 12 from her brother-in-law, a game room proprietor, and by 15 she was the Japanese women’s champion in straight rail—a difficult variety of carom billiards wherein the prompt ball should hit two balls straight to score points.
After 19, Masako Katsura just contended in men’s competitions; piling up 10,000 points at one presentation in a marvelous four and a half hour run.
When Katsura moved to the United States in 1937, expression of her phenomenal ability had arrived at eight-time world champion Welker Cochran. He emerged from retirement to challenge her in a series of three-cushion matches, a much harder variant of carom billiards, portrayed in the Google Doodle work of art, that requires the signal ball to hit in any event three-cushions prior to striking the two object balls for points.
Masako Katsura (桂 マサ子) so dazzled Welker, he arranged the World Championship Billiards competition in 1952 to watch her go up against world’s foremost billiards aficionados.
Masako Katsura upset a portion of the game’s best players to complete seventh in the competition, while the advancement she made for women in a customarily male-dominated game was a first.
To honor her memorable accomplishments, Katsura was accepted into the Women’s Professional Billiard Association Hall of Fame in 1976 as one of the sport’s all-time greatest players.
Masako Katsura (桂 マサ子) pioneered a path for women in the game by contending and putting among the best in the male-dominated world of professional billiards.
First taking in the game from her brother-in-law and afterward under the tutelage of Japanese champion Kinrey Matsuyama, Katsura became Japan’s only female professional player.
In tournament in Japan, she took second place in the country’s national three-cushion billiards championship 3 times. In show she was noted for running 10,000 points at the round of straight rail.
In the wake of wedding a U.S. Army non-commissioned officer in 1950, Masako Katsura emigrated with him to the United States in 1951. There she was welcome to play in the 1952 U.S.- supported World Three-Cushion Championship, eventually taking seventh spot at that opposition.
Masako Katsura (桂 マサ子) was the first woman at any point to be remembered for any world billiards competition. Her acclaim established, Katsura went on a display visit through the United States with eight-time world champion Welker Cochran, and later with 51-time world champion Willie Hoppe.
In 1953 and 1954, Masako Katsura again vied for the world three-cushion crown, taking fifth and fourth places respectively.
Masako Katsura got back to Japan in or around 1990 to live with her sister, Noriko, where she said she wanted to experience her days. Katsura died in 1995.
In September 2002 a memorial competition for Katsura, charged as Katsura Memorial: The First Ladies Three Cushion Grandprix, was held in Japan and broadcasted on SKY PerfecTV!
On March 7th, 2021, Google observes Masako Katsura with an animated Google Doodle.On this day in 1952, she made history as the first woman to compete for an international billiards title.