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Michiyo Tsujimura

by Catherine Silva
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Michiyo Tsujimura

Michiyo Tsujimura, the first female doctor of agriculture in Japan, researched green tea’s components. She was born in Saitama Prefecture in 1888. She first worked as an assistant teacher at Jinjo Higher Elementary School before attending Tokyo Prefecture Women’s Normal School and Tokyo Women’s Higher Normal School to further her education. Michiyo Tsujimura was a student of Kono Yasui at Tokyo Women’s Higher Normal School, where she grew passionate about a career in science. After earning her degree, she spent seven years teaching in the prefectures of Saitama and Kanagawa before starting her career as a researcher. The university her instructors advised her to attend, Hokkaido Imperial University, did not admit female students at the time. As a result, Tsujimura obtained a position as an unpaid assistant in the Food Nutritional Laboratory of the Agricultural Chemistry Department.

Michiyo Tsujimura’s Early Years And Education

Tsujimura was born in Japan’s Yokohama on June 8, 1922. She came from a farming family and was the youngest of seven children. Her parents instilled a strong love and respect for the land in her. She showed an early talent for science and was especially intrigued by the interactions between plants and soil.

After having her early education interrupted by the war, Tsujimura attended Tokyo University to study agricultural and soil science. The works of American agronomist William Albrecht, who stressed the importance of soil health as well as its impact on agricultural output, had a profound effect on her when she was in school. After becoming particularly interested in the topic, thanks to Albrecht’s emphasis on trace minerals and overall soil health, she began devoting herself to studying the subject in depth.

Tsujimura spent several years working at the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research after receiving her degree from Tokyo University in 1946. There, she continued her research into soil science and trace minerals. She received a scholarship at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1951, where she graduated with a PhD in biochemistry. Her dissertation work examined how soil microorganisms and plant growth are related. She made several important discoveries during this time that would influence her future career in biochemistry and agriculture.

Michiyo Tsujimura Physical Description

Intelligent Michiyo Tsujimaru built her profession with unrelenting effort. At a time when women were not even permitted in some university departments, she earned the first female PhD in agriculture. She was a young Japanese woman with a slim build. She was 5 ft 4 tall and weighed about 68 kg when she passed away.

Michiyo Tsujimura Personal Life

After learning more about her professional background, you can learn more about the Michiyo family. Unfortunately, no details on her siblings or other relatives are accessible. She never provided any information about her family in particular. Even her faith could be clearer. We are curious whether Michiyo Tsujimura was married or engaged in extramarital romances. Dr Tsujimaro gave off the impression of being a reclusive individual fond of keeping her personal affairs hidden. She may or may not have had children.

What Made Michiyo Tsujimura Famous?

The publication of her thesis, “On the Chemical Components of Green Tea,” helped Michiyo Tsujimura’s career expand. Her study explains why green tea tastes bitter when steeped for excessive time.

Michiyo Tsujimura’s Professional Career

Her research career officially began when she entered Hokkaido Imperial University as a laboratory assistant in 1920. She worked in an unpaid position at the university’s Agricultural Chemistry Department’s Food Nutritional Laboratory because, at the time, the institution did not permit female students. Before moving on to the Medical Chemical Laboratory at the Medical College of Tokyo Imperial University in 1922, she researched silkworms’ nutrition there.

In October 1923, she transferred to RIKEN as a research student because the laboratory had been devastated by the Great Kant earthquake in 1923. She conducted nutritional chemistry research with Umetaro Suzuki, a doctor of agriculture. ,’s In 1924, Tsujimura and Seitaro Miura published an article titled “On Vitamin C in Green Tea” in the journal Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry detailing their discovery of vitamin C in green tea. The export of green tea to North America increased due to this discovery.

Significant Advances In Agricultural Science

Michiyo’s studies in the US enabled her to develop several groundbreaking agricultural science findings. She discovered that specific bacteria and fungi might aid in enhancing the growth and yield of crops while also playing an important part in maintaining the health of the soil, which piqued her attention.

Her identification of a class of microbes called “actinomycetes,” which were found to create organic antibiotics that may shield plants from dangerous diseases, was one of her most important discoveries. The development of organic farming techniques was influenced by this discovery, which opened up new directions for the study of all-natural plant protection techniques.

She built on William Albrecht’s work by conducting significant research on the function of trace minerals in soil health. She discovered that certain trace minerals, like manganese and zinc, were crucial for plant productivity and growth and that shortages in these minerals could result in stunted growth and lower yields. Her studies contributed to a better understanding of the value of healthy soil and the requirement for careful management of agricultural lands.

Contributions To Soil Microbiology And Biochemistry

Throughout her career, Michiyo Tsujimura produced important advances in soil microbiology and biochemistry. Based on her research on the relationship between soil bacteria and plant growth, rhizosphere biology focuses on the intricate interactions between plants, soil, and microorganisms.

The significance of enzymes in soil microbiology piqued Michiyo Tsujimura’s curiosity, and she found numerous new enzymes crucial to soil health and plant development. Her research on enzymes advanced our knowledge of the intricate biochemical processes in soil and aided in creating new methods for enhancing soil health.

She studied microbes, enzymes, the chemical makeup of the soil and how it affects plant growth. She discovered that soil acidity and alkalinity might substantially impact crop productivity and created new methods for determining the pH of the soil and other essential chemical elements.

Impact Of Tsujimura On Sustainable Agriculture

Her body of work had a tremendous impact on environmentally responsible agriculture. Her research on the connection between healthy soil and plant growth helped to form a new agricultural paradigm emphasizing the value of ecological balance and natural systems. The relationship between healthy soil and plant growth was the focus of her research. She was an ardent supporter of organic farming practices because she believed they could improve the soil’s health and reduce the requirement for artificial fertilizers and chemicals.

One of the most important things that Tsujimura brought to the field of sustainable agriculture was his “Tsujimura method,” an innovative technique for assessing soil. Farmers and researchers utilized this method to evaluate the concentrations of trace minerals in the ground and identify any potential deficiencies in the soil that might be remedied with specific fertilization and other management strategies. Because it enhances crop yields while reducing the need for chemical fertilizers, the Tsujimura approach is an essential component of environmentally responsible agriculture.

Honors And Recognition

Tsujimura received various honors and recognitions during her career for her groundbreaking research and contributions to biochemistry and agriculture. She received the Japan Academy Prize in 1973 for her contributions to agricultural chemistry, one of the highest honors in Japanese research. She received the renowned Blue Planet Prize in 1992, honoring people or groups that have made remarkable contributions to resource conservation and sustainable use. Michiyo Tsujimura was the first Japanese woman to win the honor, recognizing the significance of her contributions to the advancement of sustainable farming and the preservation of the environment.

Value Of Michiyo Tsujimura

She was the country ‘s first female agricultural doctor. At a time when women were not permitted to do much, she established a reputation for herself and a place for herself. She began working as an assistant teacher at Jinjo Higher Elementary School before pursuing a career in research science at Hokkaido Imperial University and Tokyo Imperial University. She had a prosperous career, but her net worth is unknown. Her wealth or earnings are unknown, specifically. Her salary and yearly income should be kept a secret. However, we know that she earned her monthly stipend from her employment as a teacher. She then developed into a research scientist. Given her line of work, it is safe to conclude that she led a nice life.


Pioneering biochemist and agricultural scientist Michiyo Tsujimura made significant contributions to sustainable agriculture through his research and inventions. Her groundbreaking discoveries in soil microbiology, trace minerals, and enzymes contributed to developing a new agricultural paradigm emphasizing organic farming methods, natural systems, and ecological equilibrium.

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