On the occasion of her 133rd birthday, Michiyo Tsujimura, a Japanese chemist who conducted extensive study on green tea, was honoured with a Google Doodle on Friday.
133rd anniversary of Michiyo Tsujimura Google Doodle shows the chemical components of green tea investigated and extracted.
Among other research materials, the letters ‘Google’ were created using a tea shrub, a cup of green tea, a pen, a flask, and a notepad.
Who Was Michiyo Tsujimura?
Michiyo Tsujimura was born in the city of Okegawa, Saitama Prefecture, Japan, on September 17, 1888. While still in school, Tsujimura was encouraged to pursue a career in scientific research.
Tsujimura temporarily taught at two separate women’s schools after graduation before enrolling in Hokkaido Imperial University in 1920. Her research focused on the nutritional value of silkworms while she worked as an unpaid laboratory assistant at Hokkaido Imperial University.
Tsujimura moved to Tokyo Imperial University in 1922, but the lab she was working in was destroyed in the devastating earthquake of 1923. Tsujimura relocated to another lab after recovering from the tragedy to work under Dr. Umetaro Suzuki, an agricultural specialist who discovered vitamin B1.
Michiyo Tsujimura and her colleague Seitaro Miura discovered green tea to be a natural source of vitamin C while working at this facility. The amount of green tea exported to North America grew as a result of their research.
Tsujimura was able to extract more of green tea’s chemical composition as she studied it further, including catechin (a bitter component of tea) and tannin. Tsujimura’s PhD thesis, “On the Chemical Components of Green Tea,” was published in 1932, and it comprised these and other results, making her Japan’s first woman doctor of agriculture. She went on to invent a method of obtaining crystalline Vitamin C from plants, which she patented in 1935.
Tsujimura became an assistant professor at Ochanomizu University after finishing her research career, and subsequently the first head of the Faculty of Home Economics at Tokyo Women’s Higher Normal School.
In 1956, Tsujimura received the Japan Prize of Agricultural Science for her work on green tea. She received the Order of the Precious Crown of the Fourth Class in 1968.
Michiyu Tsujimura died on June 1, 1969, when he was 80 years old.
In today’s Okegawa, a stone memorial commemorates her outstanding achievements.
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