Japanese Biochemist- Michiyo Tsujimura – The discoverer of Green Tea
The United States has sudden show huge interest in green tea cultivation and imports. It happens in the mid of 1920. Green tea is very common in many countries like Vietnam, Japan, China, etc. Besides, there are also some countries where black tea consumption is more than green tea, such as Western countries.
But do you ever try to know who had discovered the Green tea? There is a big name behind the invention of green tea, and she is a women name “Michiyo Tsujimura.” She is one of the Japanese biochemists who has earned a doctorate in the agriculture around the country.
In Japan, Green tea is become part of the culture and is presented as an appetizer in ceremonies and events. As per part of her work, which comprises breaking green tea and then listing the various components. During the time of mid-1920s, she discovers the Vitamin C present in the infusion. It consequently leads to an increase in imports to the United States.
Tsujimura was a Japanese lady born on 17 September 1888 in Okinawa-Saitama Prefecture. She is a Japanese biochemist and agricultural scientist. She is the first lady in Japan who got a doctoral degree in agriculture.
Early Life of Michiyo Tsujimura
Michiyo Tsujimura goes to Tokyo Prefecture Women’s Normal School fr early education. After this, she completed her graduation degree in 1909 in Biochemical Science at Tokyo Women’s Higher Normal School. Here Michiyo gets inspired by his biologist teacher known as Kono Yasuji, who sparks her interest in scientific research.
After her graduation, she works as a teacher at Yokohama High School in Kanagawa Prefecture, where she gives her services for many years. Later in 1917, she returned to Saitama – her birthplace and started the teaching profession at Saitama Women’s Normal School.
Professional Life and Research Era
In the early 1920s, Michiyo Tsujimura started her career in research. She joined as a lab assistant at Hokkaido Imperial University. It was a tough time for her because the university did not permit female students at that time. In this way, Michiyo Tasujamura has to accept work for an unpaid post in the Agriculture department of the University in Food and Nutrition Laboratory.
In this lab, she performs research on the nutrition of silkworms before moving to the Medical Chemical Lab at the Medical College of Tokyo Imperial University. In this way, a natural disaster has changed the direction of her research. In September 1923, a strong Kanto Earthquake hit the city and destroyed everything. Consequently, Michiyo Tsujimura had to transfer to the RIKEN, where she worked as a researcher in October 1923. Then she worked in the Umetaro Suzuki lab.
During this era, Tasujimura, along with her colleague named, Seitaro Miura, discovered the presence of Vitamin C in green tea herbs. This incredible discovery happened in 1924. After this, she published her article, which holds the title “On Vitamin C in Green Tea,” in the research journal of Biochemistry, Bioscience, and Biotechnology. It results in great imports of green tea in many countries, specifically North America.
It does not stop here, and she further isolated something more particularly, such as flavonoid catechin also from green tea herbs in 1929. Then in 1930, she drew out tannin from green tea, which is in crystalline form. The thesis of Michiyo Tsujimura is titled “On the Chemical Components of Green Tea.”
There she got her doctorate from Tokyo Imperial University in Agriculture. After this great success, Michiyo got the junior researcher responsibilities at RIKEN in 1942. The lady has been the first female dean of the Faculty of Home Economics.
In late 1955, Michiyo Tsujimura retired as a professor at the Ochanomizu University. But she still continues to work as a lecturer part-time till 1961. Besides, you should know that the lady has provided her teaching services at Jissen Women’s University – Tokyo as a professor. It started in 1955 and ended in 1963 as professor emeritus.
Achievements and Rewards
As Michiyo Tsujimura has done incredible and magnificent research on green tea, she was rewarded with the Japan Prize of Agriculture Science in 1956. It was her huge success that no one can forget. At the age of 80, the brilliant lady passed away from this world, which was tragic for many people. Google Doodle celebrated her 133rd birthday on 16 September 2021, which is a big tribute to her. No one can forget her work, struggle, achievements, and professional life.