Biography in English

Y. Y. Tsu (18 December 1885-), Chinese Episcopal bishop known for his work during the Sino-Japanese war as executive representative of the House of Bishops of the Chinese Episcopal Church. He later directed the Church's central office in China and served as executive secretary of its Home Mission Board. Upon his retirement in 1950, he went to live in the United States.

The son of Yu-tang Tsu (d. 1903), a Chinese Episcopal minister, Y. Y. Tsu was born near Shanghai. He had two elder sisters, a younger brother, and three younger sisters. When he was baptized, his parents christened him Yuyue [friend of fishermen], and he later adopted the Western name Andrew. When Y. Y. Tsu was a year old, his family moved to Shanghai, where his father served as assistant chaplain at St. John's College (later St. John's University) and later as vicar of the Church of Our Savior. The young Tsu was graduated from St. John's College in 1904. His class, which consisted of four young men, was the first at that institution to be awarded B.A. degrees.

In 1904-7 Y. Y. Tsu received theological training at St. John's College, after which he was appointed to serve under the Reverend Gouverneur F. Mosher as a deacon at St. Andrew's Mission in Wusih, Kiangsu. After two years at Wusih, Tsu received a scholarship to the General Theological Seminary in New York. In addition to his studies at the seminary, he did graduate work in the social sciences at Columbia University. In June 1911 he was ordained an Episcopal priest in a ceremony at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, and in June 1912 he received a B.D. from the General Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. from Columbia University. He then returned to China, where he joined the faculty at St. John's University.

In the years following his return to China, Tsu became interested in the pai-hua movement of Hu Shih (q.v.) and others and in the efforts of such prominent Chinese as T'ai-hsü (q.v.) to reform Buddism. In 1918 he was among those who advised Sun Yat-sen in the writing of his book International Development of China. The group, which also included David Yui (Yü Jih-chang, q.v.) and Chiang Monlin (Chiang Meng-lin, q.v.), met weekly at Sun's house in Shanghai.

In 1920 Y. Y. Tsu received a fellowship for a year's graduate study at Union Theological Seminary in New York. In 1921-24 he served in the United States as executive secretary of the Chinese Students Christian Association. Before returning to China, he married Caroline Huie. She was the daughter of the Reverend Huie Kin, founder and pastor of the First Chinese Presbyterian Church in New York. In the summer of 1924 the couple left the United States and went to Peking, where Tsu accepted an invitation from Roger S. Greene, executive secretary of the China Medical Board, to become chaplain at the newly established Peking Union Medical College. In 1925 Y. Y. Tsu officiated with Timothy Lew (Liu T'ing-fang, q.v.) at the Christian memorial service held for Sun Yatsen in the college's auditorium. In the summer of 1928, when Suiyuan province in Inner Mongolia was suffering from a long drought, he became a member of the China International Famine Relief Commission and volunteered to spend his summer vacation doing famine relief work. He was assigned to quarters in the Hai Lung Huang Miao, or the Temple of the Sea Dragon King, and his work involved the registration for corn rations of Chinese and Mongols in the region.

Tsu went to the United States for the academic year of 1931-32 as a visiting lecturer on oriental religions and cultures ; he spent the fall term at the Pacific School ofReligion in Berkeley and the spring term at the General Theological Seminary. In addition to his teaching duties, he engaged in a number of debates with prominent Japanese in America on the question of Japanese aggression in Manchuria. Although he was asked to become rector of St. Clement's Episcopal Church in Berkeley, he refused the offer and instead accepted a position with the National Christian Council and returned to China. His work with the council required him to attend many conferences. He traveled to south China for a meeting on cooperation among churches, and to the Philippines for the biennial meeting of the Federation of Churches. He also attended a meeting of the Federation of Christian Missions in Karuizawa, Japan, where he also addressed, along with Japanese Ambassador to the United States Sato and General Araki, the Oriental Culture Summer Institute on the question of Manchuria.

Although Y. Y. Tsu was offered the post of general secretary of the National Christian Council, he declined the invitation and rejoined the faculty of St. John's University in the spring of 1935. When St. John's admitted its first girl students, Tsu's wife was named dean of women. After the Sino-Japanese war broke out in the summer of 1937 and the Japanese bombed and captured Shanghai, the Tsu family was forced to abandon their house and move to the International Settlement. The state of affairs at St. John's University was precarious because the campus was situated on the border of the International Settlement; thus, for a time during the war the campus had to be relocated inside the settlement. In order to deal with the thousands of refugees who were entering the International Settlement, an International Red Cross Society was established, with Tsu as Chinese executive secretary.

In the summer of 1938 Colonel J. L. Huang sent a message to Tsu, asking him to travel to Hankow to discuss war work with Chiang Kaishek and asking the university for his services. Tsu went by way of Hong Kong to Hankow, where Chiang requested that he and W. Y. Ch'en become his advisers for six months to help establish a youth training corps to prepare young men for military service during the war and for reconstruction work afterwards. However, Tsu was to serve much longer as an adviser to the project, for Chiang Kai-shek renewed the half-year period of service many times. As a result of his numerous trips to the warfront, Tsu became concerned about the lack of adequate medical facilities, and he began to devote most of his time to rectifying that situation. He served as a liaison official between the recently formed Shanghai Medical Relief Committee and parts of China not under Japanese occupation. In late October 1938 he was forced to evacuate Hankow with the National Government and move to Changsha and then to Chungking. He continued his wartime activities, which included personally meeting every medical unit that the Shanghai Medical Relief Committee sent.

In 1939, in order to meet a unit sponsored by St. John's University, he traveled to Haiphong; the group then made the rigorous trip to Kweilin. Tsu was joined in Changsha by his wife, who was president of the Young Women's Christian Association Board. Another one of Tsu's many jobs was to inspect and make suggestions to the supervisors of the Burma Road, then being constructed by the National Government. In 1940 the Chung Hua Sheng Kung Hui, or Chinese Episcopal Church, decided to create a new missionary diocese that would include the provinces of Yunnan and Kweichow, and Tsu was named bishop of the new diocese. He flew to Kunming to discuss the duties of the post and then traveled to Shanghai, where, on 1 May 1940, he was consecrated as Assistant Bishop of Hong Kong, serving as Bishop of Kunming, in charge of the new Yunnan- Kweichow Missionary District. He left immediately for Kunming, where he set up headquarters in St. John's Church.

Because of wartime conditions, the House of Bishops was unable to provide him with either funds or staff, and these problems were complicated by the fact that the Episcopal Church had made few converts among the people of Yunnan. However, he was able to find funds to keep St. John's Church operating, and many other missionaries soon came to the city. By the end of 1940 the new district had seven ordained Chinese priests and several Western missionaries. During this period, Tsu also took on the duties of pastor at St. John's Church. In February 1941 he interrupted his work to attend a meeting of the House of Bishops, at which he was named special delegate of the House of Bishops for the Dioceses of Free China (later changed to executive representative of the House of Bishops). He returned to Kunming by way of Hong Kong, where he attended a meeting of the standing committee of the Dioceses of South China and Hong Kong, and by way of Rangoon, from which he traveled on the Burma Road.

In his capacity as special delegate of the House of Bishops, Bishop Tsu undertook a journey to Shanghai in October 1942 for the purpose of communicating with occupied dioceses throughout China. To escape possible detention by the Japanese, he disguised himself as a farmer. Upon his arrival in Shanghai, he contacted Bishop E. S. Yui and the Shanghai Medical Relief Committee and then paid a visit to his mother. Immediately after he completed the long and dangerous trip back to Kunming, which was further lengthened by a month spent in a hospital in Changsha, Tsu traveled at the behest of T. V. Soong (q.v.) to Chungking, where he learned that Chiang Kaishek had included him in a group ofscholars and educators who were to go to the United States for the purpose of creating goodwill between the peoples of the two nations. He left China in June 1943 for the United States, and he spent over a year making speeches on behalf of Nationalist China to various organizations. Before Bishop Tsu left China, the bishops of the Episcopal Church in Nationalist-controlled territory met and decided, among other things, to recommend to Church authorities in the United States, Great Britain, and Canada that the Chung Hua Sheng Kung Hui be free to elect bishops regardless of nationality. As executive representative of the House of Bishops, Tsu was delegated to present a memorandum to the meeting of the Archbishops of the Anglican Church in Canada at Toronto in September 1943. He also presented the memorandum at the Triennial General Convention of the American Episcopal Church, at which recognition was given to the authority of the Chung Hua Sheng Kung Hui to elect its own bishops; in September, he flew to England, where he met with the Archbishop of Canterbury, received support from British missionaries for his memorandum, and preached in Westminster Abbey. He then returned to the United States, and he was joined there by his family.

In January 1945 Bishop Tsu accepted an invitation from the United States Army Headquarters in China to become a civilian chaplain for army personnel in the Burma Road area. He was the only Chinese chaplain in the United States Army in China, and, at the end of the War in the Pacific, he was awarded a Citation for Meritorious Civilian Service by the Chaplain- General. In March 1945 Tsu had been asked by bishops in Nationalist areas of China to set up a provisional central office in Chungking for the Chung Hua Sheng Kung Hui; his first job as director of the new office was to secure the return of church property which had been seized by the Japanese and then taken over by Nationalists. He discussed the problem with Chiang Monlin, then secretary general of the Executive Yuan, and Chiang issued an order charging all authorities to return church property. At the meeting of the House of Bishops in March 1946, it was decided that the central office would be moved to Nanking and that Bishop Tsu would be made its general secretary. Tsu thus found it necessary to give up his post as Bishop of Yunnan and Kweichow. He traveled by jeep to Nanking in May 1946. As general secretary, Tsu was in charge of the August 1947 General Synod meeting of the Chung Hua Sheng Kung Hui, at which he was named chairman of a special committee to draft a clergy pension plan.

Bishop Tsu was also appointed executive secretary of the Home Mission Board, and in that capacity he traveled to Sian, Shensi, to install the new bishop of the province. In the summer of 1948 he attended the Lambeth Conference of the Bishops of the Anglican Communion in England and the Amsterdam Assembly of the World Council of Churches in the Netherlands. He addressed the Lambeth Conference on "The Significance of the Younger Churches in the Life of the Church Universal," and he spoke at the Amsterdam Assembly on "The Chinese Church in Action." The Amsterdam Assembly voted to create a World Council of Churches, and Tsu was named to the central and executive committees of the new organization. He then spent two months in the United States, doing missionary deputation work for the National Council of the American Episcopal Church. He returned to Nanking in late November, only to find the city in a chaotic state as a result of the Kuomintang- Communist civil war. It was necessary to relocate the national office of the Chung Hua Sheng Kung Hui in Shanghai, but the move was not effected until April 1949, when Tsu traveled by jeep to Shanghai. However, Shanghai was taken by Communist forces in May. At first, some Episcopal leaders in China were favorably inclined toward the Communists and the People's Republic of China. However, when the "Christian Manifesto" was issued (see Wu Yao-tsung), dissatisfaction began to grow. In this delicate situation, the bishops of the Chung Hua Sheng Kung Hui sent members of their church a letter which affirmed the Christian faith, but which also stressed duty to one's nation.

In July 1950 Bishop Tsu left China to attend the semi-annual session of the central committee of the World Council of Churches in Toronto and to visit his family in the United States. In August he traveled to Hong Kong, from whence he went to Shanghai. Because he would be 65 in December, he announced his retirement. He left Shanghai on 7 December for the United States to rejoin his family. He and his wife later settled in Pennsylvania. In April 1951, as part of the Three-Self Movement (see Wu Yao-tsung), Tsu and 13 other Chinese church leaders were denounced by a group of Christian and Communist leaders as "imperialist agents under the cloak of religion." Tsu himself was branded as "a heartless renegade of our people, a wholehearted follower of American imperialism," and he was denounced by Bishop Robin Ch'en, chairman of the House of Bishops.

Y. Y. Tsu and his wife had four children: David, who attended Yale University; Robert, who became an Episcopal clergyman; Carol, who married Dr. Monto Ho, professor of microbiology at the University of Pittsburgh; and Kin, who attended Princeton University. Tsu's autobiography, Friend ofFishermen, was published in the United States after his retirement.

Biography in Chinese

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