Michiyo Tsujimura: Google doodle to honor Japanese biochemist on her 133rd Birthday


Devdiscourse News Desk | Tokyo | Updated: 17-09-2021 11:37 IST | Created: 17-09-2021 11:34 IST
Michiyo Tsujimura: Google doodle to honor Japanese biochemist on her 133rd Birthday
Today Google doodle on Japanese educator and biochemist Michiyo Tsujimura. Image Credit: Google Doodle
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Happy Birthday, Michiyo Tsujimura!

Today Google doodle on Japanese educator and biochemist Michiyo Tsujimura. Thanks to her groundbreaking research into the nutritional benefits of green tea, science has the answers.

Michiyo Tsujimura was born in 1888 in Okegawa, Saitama Prefecture, Japan. She attended Tokyo Prefecture Women's Normal School garden, graduating in 1900, and the Division of Science at Tokyo Women's Higher Normal School. There, she was taught by the biologist Kono Yasui, who inspired Tsujimura to get interested in scientific research.

Michiyo Tsujimura graduated in 1913 and became a teacher at Yokohama High School for Women in Kanagawa Prefecture. In 1917, she returned to Saitama Prefecture to teach at Saitama Women's Normal School.

In 1920, she chased her dream of becoming a scientific researcher at Hokkaido Imperial University where she began to analyze the nutritional properties of Japanese silkworms.

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A few years later, Tsujimura transferred to Tokyo Imperial University and began researching the biochemistry of green tea alongside Dr. Umetaro Suzuki, famed for his discovery of vitamin B1. Their joint research revealed that green tea contained significant amounts of vitamin C—the first of many yet unknown molecular compounds in green tea that awaited under the microscope. In 1929, she isolated catechin—a bitter ingredient of tea. Then, the next year she isolated tannin, an even more bitter compound. These findings formed the foundation for her doctoral thesis, "On the Chemical Components of Green Tea" when she graduated as Japan's first woman doctor of agriculture in 1932.

Outside of her research, Dr. Tsujimura also made history as an educator when she became the first Dean of the Faculty of Home Economics at Tokyo Women's Higher Normal School in 1950. Today, a stone memorial in honor of Dr.Tsujimura's achievements can be found in her birthplace of Okegawa City. She died in Toyohashi on 1 June 1969 at the age of 81.

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