Masako Katsura was the greatest thing that ever happened in the whole history of billiards... maybe the greatest thing that ever happened period. For a woman to compete on absolutely equal terms with men... and a cute, feminine woman, at that... why, it's never been done before or since. She was not competing against just any men, understand, she was competing against the greatest players in the world. She was a sensation. People who had never heard of billiards before stood in line around the block for tickets to see her perform.
—Danny McGoorty, as quoted in Robert Byrne's McGoorty: A Pool Room Hustler (1972)
Soon after the 1952 championship, Cochran announced he was coming out of a seven-year retirement to play an exhibition tour with Katsura. "Millions of fans want to see this charming first lady of billiards" he said, "now some of them can." The duo previewed their tour with a three-day engagement at the Garden City Parlor in San Jose starting on April 18, 1952. Thereafter, they planned stops in Kansas City (May 2–3); Chicago (May 5–11); Detroit in mid-May; and on to tentative stops in Cleveland, Buffalo, Boston, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Diego, Los Angeles and Long Beach. The format was to be a 100-point straight-rail match, followed by a 50-point three-cushion game played under tournament conditions with trick or "fancy" shots to follow. Katsura stated prior to departing: "I hope my tour will convince women that billiards is not only a man's game. Women can play just as well as men."