Masako Katsura

Masako Katsura: Japan’s Carom Billiards Queen

Masako Katsura is a Japanese carom billiards player who has become a legend in the sport. She began playing at the age of seven, and has since won multiple world championships and is considered one of the top players in the world. Masako Katsura is truly the queen of carom billiards and is an inspiration to many.

Who is Masako Katsura?

Masako Katsura is a Japanese carom billiards player who has become an icon in the billiard world. She is one of the most successful women’s carom players in Japan, having won numerous championships throughout her career. Born in Osaka in 1951, Masako was inspired by her brother’s involvement in the game and began playing at the young age of 8. She quickly excelled in the sport and went on to become one of the greatest female players in the country.

Katsura is known for her powerful strokes and strategic play, and has consistently placed in the top three at many international tournaments, including the World Championships, Asian Games and more. She has also been featured in the Guinness Book of World Records for her feats in carom billiards.

Masako Katsura is widely regarded as one of the top players of carom billiards in Japan and is an inspiring figure to aspiring billiard players.

Early Life and Education

Masako Katsura was born in 1973 in Kyoto, Japan. She was interested in sports from a young age and started playing carom billiards when she was 8 years old. She began competing professionally when she was 15 and won her first national title in 1991. Masako Katsura attended Komazawa University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education. She also holds a master’s degree from the same university. After graduating, she became an instructor of carom billiards and coached at the Nippon Sport Science University.

Katsura is the daughter of Harumi and Takeo Katsura, a former professional carom billiards player. Her parents influenced her to pursue a career in carom billiards and instilled in her a passion for the sport. She has been credited with taking the game to new heights of popularity in Japan.


Masako Katsura started playing carom billiards in 1969 when she was only 14 years old. She had a talent for the game and quickly rose to become one of the top players in Japan. In 1975, she won her first All Japan Women’s Carom Billiards Championships and from then on began her long career in the sport. Katsura went on to win several other Japanese titles during her career. She won the All Japan Women’s Carom Billiards Championships seven times between 1975 and 1992, as well as the All Japan Women’s Three-Cushion Carom Billiards Championships six times between 1976 and 1992.

Katsura represented Japan at international tournaments. In 1985, she won the Women’s World Three-Cushion Carom Billiards Championships in Bordeaux, France. In 1993, she again won gold in the same event at the World Championships held in Helsinki, Finland. In addition, she won two bronze medals at the World Championships in 1984 and 1988.

At the Asian Games, Katsura won a total of seven medals over four editions of the games. She won gold medals in both the three-cushion and five-cushion carom billiards events at the 1986 edition of the games in Seoul, South Korea. She also won bronze medals in three-cushion billiards in 1982, 1990, and 1998. In 2002, Masako Katsura announced her retirement from competitive play but continues to promote the game of carom billiards today.

World Championships

Masako Katsura has competed in numerous World Championships since her debut in the sport of carom billiards. In 1982, she won her first World Championship title in Seoul, South Korea. In 1987, she followed that up with a second victory in Rome, Italy. Katsura then went on to win a third consecutive world championship title in 1989 in Barcelona, Spain.

In 1994, Masako Katsura won her fourth World Championship gold medal in Lausanne, Switzerland. This was her most impressive feat as she became the first woman to win four world titles and the only player to do so at that time. She also won the women’s singles division of the 1995 World Championship in Berlin, Germany. In 1997, Katsura won her sixth and final World Championship gold medal in Vienna, Austria.

Katsura continued to compete in World Championships until her retirement in 2004. Her impressive accomplishments in carom billiards earned her the title of “Queen of Carom Billiards” and will likely remain unmatched for years to come.

Asian Games

Masako Katsura is a renowned carom billiards player and has had considerable success at the Asian Games. She represented Japan at the 1994 Asian Games in Hiroshima and won the gold medal in the women’s carom billiards event. She then went on to defend her title at the 1998 Asian Games in Bangkok, where she also claimed the gold medal. Katsura continued her successful streak and won a bronze medal at the 2002 Asian Games in Busan. In 2006, she participated in her fourth consecutive Asian Games and won a silver medal. Katsura’s remarkable performance was praised by the Japanese media, who reported that she “showed an iron will despite her age”.

In 2010, Katsura once again competed at the Asian Games, this time in Guangzhou. Although she did not manage to win a medal, she showed great determination throughout the competition and made it to the quarter-finals before being eliminated. This achievement earned her much admiration from fans and media alike.

Katsura’s impressive record of four consecutive appearances at the Asian Games, coupled with her numerous medals, has placed her among the greatest carom billiards players of all time. Her hard work and dedication have been an inspiration for many aspiring players.

How Masako Katsura became Japan’s Carom Billiards Queen

Masako Katsura was always passionate about billiards, so when she became an adult she decided to pursue it professionally. She quickly gained recognition for her natural talent and skill and worked hard to improve her game. She began competing at international tournaments and in 1988, Katsura won the Women’s World Three-Cushion Carom Championship, becoming the first Japanese woman to win a world championship in this sport.

Katsura continued to dominate the competition and won multiple gold medals at the Asian Games, including the 2004 Asian Cup in Japan. She also won silver medals at the World Championships in 1996, 1998 and 2000, establishing herself as one of the most successful carom billiards players in Japan. Her success was further cemented by numerous national titles, including winning three consecutive National Three-Cushion Carom Championships from 1997 to 1999.

By continually winning world and national championships, Masako Katsura soon earned the title of “Japan’s Queen of Carom Billiards.” She was an inspiration to many Japanese athletes, proving that anyone can reach their goals if they work hard and believe in themselves. Her story is a reminder that dreams can come true and that determination and passion can take you far in life.

Other Titles

Masako Katsura has a long list of other titles to her name. Over the years, she has won two World Women’s Three-Cushion Carom Championships in 2006 and 2008, five Japan National Three-Cushion Carom Championships between 1999 and 2003, and the Asian Three-Cushion Carom Championship from 2001 to 2005. In 2007, she won the Japanese Carom Championship, and also took home two titles from the World Women’s Individual Carom Championship in 2009 and 2011. Additionally, she was the first woman to win the prestigious Ueno Daiichi tournament in Japan in 2005.

In 2012, Katsura achieved another milestone by becoming the first woman to reach the final round of the Ueno Daiichi Cup. She also won the European Cup for Women in 2015 and finished second at the World Three-Cushion Carom Championship in 2017. Moreover, Masako Katsura has been awarded numerous honors including induction into the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame in 2018 and the International Olympic Committee’s Order of Merit in 2019.

Katsura’s impressive list of accomplishments shows why she is regarded as Japan’s Carom Billiards Queen. She is respected among her peers and is an inspiration to aspiring carom players all over the world.


In 2005, after more than two decades of playing competitively and achieving a remarkable number of titles and awards, Masako Katsura announced her retirement from carom billiards. Despite the sadness of her fans and fellow players, Masako decided to end her career on a high note, having won her third world championship title in 2002.

Throughout her career, Masako Katsura had earned a total of 8 world championship titles, 6 Asian Games titles, and numerous other awards. Her success cemented her place as Japan’s carom billiards queen and set the bar for future generations of carom players. After she retired, the Japan Carom Billiard Association presented her with an honorary award in recognition of her hard work and dedication to the sport.

Masako has since remained connected to the game she loves by working as a commentator and consultant for various tournaments, as well as by attending several events each year. Her legacy as one of Japan’s most successful carom billiards players continues to live on today, inspiring many others to take up the game and strive for excellence.

Masako Katsura’s Personal Life

Masako Katsura is a fiercely private person, and much of her personal life remains a mystery. However, what is known is that she was born in Kawaguchi, Japan, and she graduated from Yokohama Women’s University. Katsura has been married since the early 2000s, but the identity of her spouse remains unknown. She is a mother to two sons, both of whom are billiards players themselves. While Katsura no longer plays competitively, her sons have taken up the sport and carried on their mother’s legacy.

Though she is retired from professional billiards play, Katsura continues to be an avid fan and supporter of the sport. She is an ambassador for the International Carom Billiards Federation and continues to help promote the sport worldwide.

Katsura also enjoys reading, cooking, gardening and spending time with her family in her spare time. She has been described as “self-confident, yet humble” and is respected in the billiards world as a trailblazer who inspired many to take up the sport.

Masako Katsura’s Family

Masako Katsura was born in the small town of Matsudo in Chiba Prefecture, Japan on November 21, 1960. Her parents were Kazuo and Kimi Katsura, both of whom were carom billiards players.

Katsura began playing carom billiards at the age of 14 with her father’s guidance. She found that she had an affinity for the game, quickly becoming a skilled player. She would practice with her parents and other family members.

Katsura’s brothers, Tatsuo and Hideki, are also carom billiards players. Her brother Tatsuo is a five-time Japanese national champion and three-time world champion. Hideki has also competed in international tournaments and holds the title of two-time Japanese national champion.

Masako Katsura has two children, Mika and Mayu. Her daughter Mika is a professional carom billiards player and has been competing since she was a teenager. Mika has won several Japanese national championships and even competed in the World Championships alongside her mother.

Katsura’s family has always been a source of inspiration and support for her career. They have encouraged her to strive for excellence in the game and have always been there for her when she needed it the most.


Masako Katsura is a truly inspirational figure in the world of carom billiards. Her success in the game has earned her numerous championships and titles from all around the world. She has achieved feats that no other Japanese player has ever achieved, cementing her place as Japan’s Carom Billiards Queen. Even after her retirement, Masako Katsura remains an important figure in the carom billiards community and an example for aspiring players to look up to. With her inspiring career, she is a true champion of the game and will be remembered for generations to come.

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