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Michiyo Tsujimura Biography, Wiki, Age, Career, Education, Google Doodle | Who Was Japanese Scientist Michiyo Tsujimura?

Who was Michiyo Tsujimura?

Michiyo Tsujimura, 17 September 1888 – 1 June 1969, was a Japanese agricultural scientist and biochemist whose research focused on the components of green tea. She was the first woman in Japan to receive a doctoral degree in agriculture.

Google Doodle celebrates life of Japanese green tea researcher Michiyo Tsujimura

Google today celebrated the 133rd birthday of Japanese educator and biochemist Michiyo Tsujimura with a doodle. Because of her groundbreaking research, science today has an answer to why green tea tastes so bitter when steeped for too long.

Born on this day in 1888 in Okegawa, Saitama Prefecture, Japan, Tsujimura spent her early career teaching science. In 1920, she chased 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 vitamins 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.

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.

Michiyo Tsujimura Biography, Wiki

Who was Japanese Scientist Michiyo Tsujimura

Michiyo Tsujimura, Japan’s first woman doctor of agriculture, researched the components of green tea.
Tsujimura was born in 1888 in Saitama Prefecture.

After working at Jinjo Higher Elementary School as an assistant teacher, she then studied at Tokyo Prefecture Women’s Normal School, and later Tokyo Women’s Higher Normal School. At Tokyo Women’s Higher Normal School she studied under Kono Yasui and developed a strong interest in a life of scientific research.

After graduating she worked as a teacher for seven years in Kanagawa Prefecture and Saitama Prefecture, then began a career as a researcher.

Hokkaido Imperial University, the school her professors recommended her to, did not accept women students at the time, so Tsujimura acquired a post in the Food Nutritional Laboratory of the Agricultural Chemistry Department as an unpaid assistant.

Born17 September 1888
Saitama Prefecture, Japan
Died1 June 1969 (aged 80)
Toyohashi, Aichi, Japan
OccupationAgronomist, biochemist

Discovery of Vitamin C in Green Tea by Michiyo Tsujimura

At Hokkaido Imperial University she focused mainly on research of silkworms.
In 1922 she transferred to Tokyo Imperial University to continue her research in biochemistry, but in the following year her laboratory burned down in the Great Kanto Earthquake, so she transferred to Riken.

At Riken, she conducted research under Professor Umetaro Suzuki, a doctor of agriculture famous for discovering vitamin B1. In her joint research with Seitaro Miura, she identified vitamin C in green tea, a discovery that contributed to an increase in green tea exported from Japan to North America. Tsujimura continued with her dedicated research to discover other components of green tea.

In 1929 Tsujimura succeeded in isolating and extracting catechin, a bitter component in green tea, for the first time in the world. In the following year, she also extracted tannin in crystal form and determined its chemical structure, another bitter component in green tea.

Her research results, collected in a paper titled, “On the Chemical Components of Green Tea,” earned her a doctorate in agriculture from Tokyo Imperial University in 1932. She became the first woman doctor of agriculture in Japan.
Thereafter, Tsujimura continued with her research and became a professor at Ochanomizu University in 1949, as well as the first Dean of the Faculty of Home Economics.

Apart from her own research, Tsujimura was a passionate teacher who worked for the education of the following generations. After retiring from Ochanomizu University, she then provided instruction at Jissen Women’s University. After she passed away, Katsurakai, an organization created in her honor, put up a memorial stele in Toyohashi, the area where she spent her final years.

Michiyo Tsujimura Life Timeline

1888September 17, born in Okegawa-Cho (current Okegawa City), Adachi-gun, Saitama Prefecture
1909Graduates from Tokyo Prefecture Women’s Normal School. Enters the Division of Science, Tokyo Women’s Higher Normal School (age 20)
1913Graduates from the Division of Science, Tokyo Women’s Higher Normal School. Becomes a teacher at Kanagawa’s Yokohama High School for Women
1917Becomes a teacher at Saitama Women’s Normal School
1920Becomes an assistant at Hokkaido Imperial University. Enters the Food Nutritional Laboratory and begins researching nutrition of domestic silkworms (age 32)
1922Transfers to the Medical Chemical Laboratory at the Medical College, Tokyo Imperial University, and continues biochemistry research
1923The Medical-Chemical Laboratory is completely destroyed in the Great Kanto Earthquake, Tsujimura transfers to Riken.
Becomes a research student of Riken, and researches food chemistry, nutritional chemistry, and biological chemistry at the laboratory of Umetaro Suzuki, doctor of agriculture
1924Begins research on vitamin C with Seitaro Miura.
Publishes “On Vitamin C in Green Tea” in the Journal of the Japan Society for Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Agrochemistry, with Seitaro Miura
1929Isolates catechin, a bitter component in green tea, for the first time
1930Isolates formless tannin, a component more bitter than catechin, from green tea
1932Receives Doctorate in Agriculture; doctoral thesis, “On the Chemical Components of Green Tea.”
Becomes the first woman doctor of agriculture in Japan (age 43)
1934Discovers gallocatechin, a new type of catechin, from green tea
1935Extracts tannin crystal from green tea. Registers patent on a method of producing crystal vitamin C from plants. Patent No. 2544 (Riken)
1942Becomes a junior researcher at Riken (age 53)
1946Becomes a teacher at Women’s Gakushuin School
1947Becomes a researcher at Riken (age 58)
1949Becomes a professor at Ochanomizu University (age 60)
1950Also takes a position as a professor at Tokyo Women’s Higher Normal School.
Becomes the first Dean of the Faculty of Home Economics
1955Retires from Ochanomizu University (continues as a part-time lecturer until 1961). Becomes professor at Jissen Women’s University (age 66)
1956Receives the Japan Prize of Agricultural Science for her work on green tea components (age 67)
1963Retires from Jissen Women’s University.
Becomes professor emeritus at Jissen Women’s University (age 74)
1968Receives the Order of the Precious Crown of the Fourth Class (age 79)
1969June 1, passes away at her niece’s home in Toyohashi at the age of 81

Michiyo Tsujimura FAQ’s

Who was Michiyo Tsujimura?

Michiyo Tsujimura, 17 September 1888 – 1 June 1969, was a Japanese agricultural scientist and biochemist whose research focused on the components of green tea. She was the first woman in Japan to receive a doctoral degree in agriculture.

What is Michiyo Tsujimura famous for?

Michiyo Tsujimura is famous for identifying vitamin C in green tea, a discovery that contributed to an increase in green tea exported from Japan to North America.

When did Michiyo Tsujimura die?

She died in Toyohashi on 1 June 1969 at the age of 81.

 

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