SCHOOL pupils have been charting the life of a woman who is celebrated in Japan every year.

The late Leigh scientist Kathleen Mary Drew-Baker is revered in the remote southern town of Uto for her research on an form of edible seaweed which was applied to sushi and other popular dishes.

She is known as the ‘Mother of the Sea’ in Uto, where each year on April 14, today, people from the seaweed industry gather around the Drew Monument for a ceremony which a Shinto priest hosts and speeches are made.

Kathleen, who died in 1957, is believed to have lived on Windermere Road.

Westleigh High School Year Nine pupils have been learning about her career in a presentation and have been making sushi.

Marketing and enrichment manager at the school, Petra Wilcockson, said: “I found out about Kathleen recently after someone told me when I was out in Chinatown in Manchester.

“I am from Leigh but I have never heard of her before and thought it was a shame she is not well known.

“She is a wonderful role model, and from what I have read, sushi would not be the same as we know it is today without her work.

“She has given our pupils inspiration that people from their hometown can go on to achieve great things like she did.”

Kathleen’s work has been subject to a BBC radio programme and a study at The University of Manchester.