bhikshunī ［比丘尼］ (; Pali bhikkhunī; bikuni): A Buddhist nun. Bhikshunī is a female believer of Buddhism who has renounced secular life and been accepted into the Buddhist Order on the condition that she observe monastic rules. According to traditional accounts, Mahāprajāpatī, Shakyamuni’s foster-mother, was the first woman to be admitted by Shakyamuni into the Order and thus become a nun. Nuns are often said to have observed five hundred precepts, though the actual number of precepts was smaller. The Fourfold Rules of Discipline lists 348 precepts for nuns. A bhikshunī was required, in all matters, to respect and seek guidance from a bhikshu, or monk, as represented by the formulation of the eight precepts of reverence. In Japan, Zenshin is known as the first bhikshunī; she renounced secular life along with two other women in 584. In the early seventh century, the number of Buddhist nuns in Japan was more than five hundred. See also eight precepts of reverence; five hundred precepts.