The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Mikado

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MIKADO (Japanese Mi, “exalted,” Kado, “gate”), the ancient and poetic title of the Japanese emperor, in origin identical with “Sublime Porte” as used of the Ottoman sultan, that is, probably transferred to the ruler and judge from the gateway of his palace, at which he did justice. The word mikado was never used as a separate title for a spiritual ruler; the incorrect idea to the contrary results from the well-known historical fact that much of the temporal power of the Mikado was long usurped by shoguns or generals, who, however, always admitted that they derived their power from the Mikado. The present Mikado, Yoshihito (q.v.), is the 122d (or 124th) of his line, which dates back to 660 B.C.; of him the title “Mikado” is less used than Tenshi Sama, “Son of Heaven,” or Shu-jo, “Supreme Master.” See Japan.