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Google dedicates doodle to Japanese Scientist Michiyo Tsujimura on her 133rd birthday

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

Tokyo: In the memory of educator and biochemist Michiyo Tsujimura, who is famous for her ground-breaking research on the nutritional benefits of green tea, Google on September 17 celebrated her 133rd birth-anniversary with a special doodle. 

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Born on this day in 1888 in Okegawa, Saitama Prefecture, Japan, Tsujimura spent her early career teaching science. In 1920, she started to work on her dream of becoming a scientific researcher at Hokkaido Imperial University where she began to analyze the nutritional properties of Japanese silkworms.

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,” reads Google’s official page.

Thanks to Tsujimura, and her groundbreaking research into the nutritional benefits of green tea, science today has the answer why green tea tastes so bitter when steeped for too long.

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That’s not all, 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.

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