Google honours Michiyo Tsujimura in today’s doodle

  • Born in 1888 in what is now Okegawa in Saitama Prefecture of Japan, Tsujimura started her career as an unpaid laboratory assistant at Hokkaido Imperial University.
Screengrab of google homepage.
Screengrab of google homepage.
Published on Sep 17, 2021 06:02 AM IST
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By hindustantimes.com, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Google on Friday paid tribute to Michiyo Tsujimura, a Japanese agriculture scientist, on her 133rd birth anniversary through its doodle. Her groundbreaking research made Michiyo Tsujimura the first woman in Japan to earn a doctorate in agriculture. Tsujimura’s research focused on the health properties of green tea, a widelywor popular drink in today's times.

Born in 1888 in what is now Okegawa in Saitama Prefecture of Japan, Tsujimura started her career as an unpaid laboratory assistant at Hokkaido Imperial University. This was at the time when the university did not even accept female students.

A few years later, Tsujimura transferred to Tokyo Imperial University and started researching the biochemistry of green tea. She also worked with Dr Umetaro Suzuki famous 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.

Tsujimura isolated the flavonoid catechin—the bitter ingredient of tea—in 1929 and a year later she extracted tannin in crystal form from green tea. In 1932, her findings on the constituents of green tea, titled "On the Chemical Components of Green Tea", led her to graduate as Japan’s first woman doctor of agriculture from Tokyo Imperial University.

In 1949, Tsujimura also made history as an educator and spent long years of her career as a University professor. She was a professor at Tokyo Women's Higher Normal School from 1950 and was the school's first dean of the Faculty of Home Economics.

In 1956, Tsujimura was awarded the Japan Prize of Agricultural Science for her green tea research. She was also conferred with the Order of the Precious Crown of the Fourth Class in 1968.

Michiyo Tsujimura died in 1969 at the age of 81.

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Friday, October 22, 2021