Hyderabad: Google Doodle on Friday honoured Michiyo Tsujimura, a Japanese chemist who did in-depth research on green tea, on the occasion of her 133rd birth anniversary. She was known for her in-depth study on the chemical components of green tea and its nutritional benefits.
Interestingly, a variety of research components, such as a tea shrub, a cup of green tea and its vapour, a pen, a notepad, and a flask were used to form the letters of ‘Google’.
Michiyo Tsujimura was born on September 17, 1888, in Okegawa, Japan. While in school, Tsujimura was inspired to pursue a career in scientific research. With a determined goal, she became Japan’s first woman doctor of agriculture in 1932.
Tsujimura began researching the biochemistry of green tea alongside Dr Umetaro Suzuki, a doctor of agriculture who discovered vitamin B1. While working on the research, Michiyo Tsujimura and her colleague discovered green tea to contain significant amounts of vitamin C. It was also one of the first components discovered.
As Tsujimura further explored green tea, she was able to isolate more of its chemical composition like catechin – a bitter ingredient of tea and tannin – an even bitter compound.
In 1932, Tsujimura published her doctoral thesis titled ‘On the Chemical Components of Green Tea’ that included these findings and more. She also went on to patent a method of extracting crystallised Vitamin C from plants in 1935.
Upon completing her research career, 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.
She was also 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.