Michiyo Tsujimura

Michiyo Tsujimura: Unveiling the Health Secrets of Green Tea

Michiyo Tsujimura’s contributions to science, particularly in the field of agriculture and chemistry, have paved the way for significant advancements in our understanding of green tea and its health benefits. Her relentless pursuit of knowledge and dedication to her research have not only illuminated the path for future scientists but also elevated the global perception of Japanese green tea.

Early Life and Education

Born in Okegawa, Saitama Prefecture, in 1888, Michiyo Tsujimura faced the societal constraints of her time, which often limited women’s roles to domestic duties. However, her insatiable curiosity and passion for learning led her to pursue higher education, a rarity for women in Japan during the early 20th century. Tsujimura graduated from the Tokyo Women’s Higher Normal School, now known as Ochanomizu University, and later joined Hokkaido Imperial University, where she began her groundbreaking research in agriculture.

A Pioneering Journey in Green Tea Research

Michiyo Tsujimura’s most notable contributions lie in her extensive research on the nutritional properties of green tea. In a time when the scientific community paid little attention to the health benefits of traditional foods and beverages, Tsujimura embarked on a mission to uncover the secrets held within the humble tea leaves. Her research led to the groundbreaking discovery of vitamin C in green tea, marking a significant milestone in nutritional science and boosting green tea’s popularity as a healthful drink worldwide.

Unveiling the Components of Green Tea

Tsujimura didn’t stop with just discovering vitamin C; her research delved deeper into the chemical composition of green tea. She identified catechin, a type of natural phenol and antioxidant, and tannin, which contributes to the tea’s bitterness and astringency. These discoveries were crucial in understanding the health benefits of green tea, including its ability to prevent certain diseases and its anti-aging properties. Tsujimura’s work laid the foundation for numerous studies that followed, exploring the various ways green tea can contribute to human health and well-being.

Challenges and Triumphs

Michiyo Tsujimura’s journey was not without challenges. As a woman in the early 20th century, she faced significant hurdles in a male-dominated scientific community. Nevertheless, her perseverance and dedication to her work broke down barriers, making her an inspiration for women in science. In 1956, she achieved another milestone by becoming the first female professor at Ochanomizu University, and later, the first woman to receive a Doctorate in Agriculture in Japan. These achievements were not just personal triumphs but also victories for women aspiring to make their mark in the scientific world.

Legacy and Impact

Michiyo Tsujimura’s legacy extends beyond her scientific discoveries. She paved the way for future generations of scientists, particularly women, to pursue their research ambitions. Today, her work is recognized globally, and she continues to inspire those in the fields of nutrition, chemistry, and beyond. In 2021, Google celebrated her 133rd birthday with a Doodle, acknowledging her contributions to science and her role in promoting the benefits of green tea to a worldwide audience.


Michiyo Tsujimura’s life and work embody the spirit of dedication and perseverance. Her contributions to the scientific community have had a lasting impact, not only in the field of green tea research but also in the broader context of nutritional science and women’s roles in academia. Tsujimura’s story is a testament to the power of curiosity and the importance of pursuing one’s passions, regardless of the obstacles. As we enjoy a cup of green tea, we remember and celebrate the remarkable woman who revealed its secrets to the world.

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