Michiyo Tsujimura – Google doodle to honor Japanese biochemist on her 133rd Birthday
Michiyo Tsujimura : Today Google doodles on Japanese teacher and biochemist Michio Sujimura. Thanks to their groundbreaking research into the nutritional benefits of green tea, science has the answers.
Michio Tsujimura was born in 1888 in Okegawa, Saitama Prefecture, Japan. She attended Tokyo Prefecture Women’s Normal School Garden, graduating in 1900, and attended the science department at Tokyo Women’s High Normal School. There, he was tutored by the biologist Kono Yasui, who inspired Tsujimura to take an interest in scientific research.
Michio 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 the Saitama Women’s Normal School.
In 1920, he pursued his dream of becoming a scientific researcher at Hokkaido Imperial University, where he began analyzing the nutritional properties of the Japanese silkworm.
A few years later, Tsujimura transferred to Tokyo Imperial University and began researching the biochemistry of green tea with Dr. Umetaro Suzuki, who was famous for his discovery of vitamin B1. Their joint research revealed that green tea contained significant amounts of vitamin C—the first of several unknown molecular compounds in green tea that awaited under the microscope.
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In 1929, he isolated catechins—a bitter ingredient in tea. Then, the next year he isolated tannins, an even more bitter compound. These findings laid the foundation for her doctoral thesis, “On the Chemical Components of Green Tea”, when she graduated in 1932 as Japan’s first female doctor of agriculture.
In addition to her research, Dr. Tsujimura also made history as a teacher when she became the first dean of the Faculty of Home Economics at Tokyo Women’s Higher Normal School in 1950. Today, a stone monument in honor of Dr. Tsujimura’s achievements can be found in his birthplace of Okegawa City. He died in Toyohashi on 1 June 1969 at the age of 81.
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