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The First European Description of Japan, 1585 : Footnote 323

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With bonze/s we follow the customary Anglicization of the Iberian bonzo/s. Like all Japanese words, bonso or bonzo has no number. Bonzo is properly a low-ranking Buddhist monk, while Frois uses it to refer to all Buddhist monks. Japanese editions of the Tratado change Frois’ references to bonzos to the common general term bozu, which includes higher ranking monks, or the Chinese characters for a rare word for the same, butsuso, with the pronunciation indicated as bonzo. Frois’ denigrative tone is captured by affixing a rude plural suffix ~ra to these terms.


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