Google Doodle Pays Tribute To Japanese Chemist Michiyo Tsujimura

Google celebrates the 133rd birth anniversary of Michiyo Tsujimura with a Doodle. Michiyo Tsujimura was a Japanese scientist who researched the components of green tea. She was the first woman in Japan to receive a doctoral degree in agriculture.

Michiyo Tsujimura was born in 1888 in Okegawa in the Saitama Prefecture of Japan. A female scientist in the 19th century was not a common occurrence, and Tsujimura had her shares of struggle in her professional journey. She started her career as an unpaid laboratory assistant at Hokkaido Imperial University at a time when the university did not even accept female students.

Michiyo Tsujimura
Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons

After a few years, Tsujimura joined Tokyo Imperial University. Along with Dr Umetaro Suzuki, famous for his discovery of vitamin B1, she began researching the biochemistry of green tea. They found out that green tea contained significant amounts of vitamin C – this was 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.

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

Michiyu Tsujimura passed away on June 1, 1969, at the age of 80. Today, a stone memorial in honour of Dr Tsujimura’s achievements can be found at her birthplace of Okegawa City.

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