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Michiyo Tsujimura: everything you need to know about the Green Tea researcher

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Today, 17 September 2021, Google Doodle is celebrating Michiyo Tsujimura, a late Japanese biochemist known for her research on green tea and its nutritional benefits. We have compiled interesting facts about her.

The educator and researcher, who was Japan’s first woman doctor of agriculture, is supposed to have her 133rd birth anniversary today, and Google is celebrating her with a special Doodle.

She made history as an educator in 1950 after becoming the first Dean of the Faculty of Home Economics at Tokyo Women’s Higher Normal School. Although she retired five years later, in 1955, she continued to teach part-time.

Michiyo Tsujimura Green Tea Research

She first got recognition for her Green Tea Research in 1924 when she, along with her colleague, Seitaro Miura, discovered that green tea had vitamin C. After their discovery, they published an article titled On Vitamin C in Green Tea, which led to an increase in the exportation of green tea to North America.

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Continuing her research, in 1929, she isolated catechin – an ingredient that makes the tea bitter, and the following year, she found an even more bitter compound in Green Tea – tannin.

These findings became the basis of her thesis, The Chemical Components of Green Tea. Her view earned her a doctorate in agriculture from Tokyo Imperial University in 1932, making her the country’s first woman doctor of agriculture.

In 1934, she isolated gallocatechin from green tea and in 1935, she registered a patent on her method of extracting vitamin C crystals from plants.

Michiyo Tsujimura was born on 17 September 1888 in the Saitama prefecture of Honshu – Japan’s largest main island and home to Tokyo. She died in Toyohashi on 1 June 1969 at the age of 80. A stone memorial in her honour can be found in her birthplace of Okegawa City.

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