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THE MIKADO

Updated on April 14, 2013

THE MIKADO--EMPEROR OF JAPAN

"Mikado" is the ancient title for the emperor of Japan, beginning with the reign of the Mikado Jimmu in 660 B.C.

Believed by many to have descended from the all-powerful Sun Goddess, the same family line has been traced through 124 reigns.

The title of Mikado is now rarely used.

GILBERT & SULLIVANS THE MIKADO 1885

The Mikado is best known from the Gilbert and Sullivan opera about the absurd antics in the mythical Japanese village of Titipu.

The Mikado was originally acted on stage at the Savoy Theatre in London on March 14, 1885. The official New York premiere took place on August 19, 1885 at the Fifth Avenue Theatre.

The Mikado is also a favorite with amateur theatre groups, summer theatres, and schools.

In 1939 it was the source of two jazzy black versions: The Swing Mikado and The Hot Mikado.


"THE BEST IDEAS ARE COMMON PROPERTY"

Anybody can make history. Only a great man can write it.

The idea for The Mikado first came into W.S. Gilbert's mind when a Japanese sword that had been hanging on the wall of his study for years suddenly fell from its place.

Gilbert took this as an omen and was determined to leave his own country alone for a while and turn his biting satire instead towards the East. He didn't have to look very far to research the subject of his new play.

He found all the material he wanted in Knightsbridge, a little village of Japanese immigrants within a mile of his own home in South Kensington. Here, he witnessed the strange arts, and lifestyles of this proud race.


THE MIKADO IN THE AMAZON JUNGLE

GILBERT AND SULLIVAN IN THE AMAZON JUNGLE

ROYAL DOULTON'S MIKADO VERSION - MAX HENK'S THE MIKADO CHARACTER MUG

MIKADO CURIOSITY

ON THE SMALL VERSION OF THE ROYAL DOULTON TOBY JUG MIKADO, THE MOUSTACHE IS OFTEN MISSING!

THE PLOT OF THE MIKADO.........

The story of The Mikado is about a young man named Nanki-Poo who has banished himself from the small town of Titipu. Nanki-Poo, has fallen in love with a beautiful young lady called Yum-Yum.

Unfortunately, Yum-Yum is engaged to be married to her guardian Ko-Ko (the tailor)

When Nanki-Poo hears that Ko-Ko has been condemned to death for the capital crime of flirting, he returns to Titipu. Nanki-Poo learns that Ko-Ko has been granted a reprieve and to his shock has been promoted as the Lord High Executioner.

Apparently, those in power want to slow down the rash of executions and has decided that since Ko-Ko was next in line for execution, he can't cut off anyone else's head until he cuts off his own!

The Mikado, notices the lack of executions in Titipu and orders that if no executions take place within one month, the city will be reduced to the status of a village!

Ko-Ko, is desperate to avoid cutting off his own head and vows to find a substitute. Just at that moment, Nanki-Poo wanders onto the stage with a rope determined to take his own life instead of living his life without his precious Yum-Yum.

Ko-Ko immediately seizes onto this opportunity and offers the young man one month of luxurious living at the end of which he would be relatively painlessly decapitated.

Nanki-Poo agrees on the condition that he be married to Yum-Yum right away so that he can spend his last month in wedded bliss.

Just as the wedding celebration begins, a law is discovered, much to Yum-Yum's distress, which decrees that a condemned man's wife must be buried alive with his corpse!

CAST OF CHARACTERS

The Mikado of Japan

Nanki-Poo, His Son, disguised as a wandering minstrel, and in love with Yum-Yum

Ko-Ko, The Lord High Executioner of Titipu

Pooh-Bah, Lord High Everything Else

Pish-Tush, A Noble Lord

Yum-Yum, A Ward of Ko-Ko, also engaged to Ko-Ko

Pitti-Sing, A Ward of Ko-Ko

Peep-Bo, A Ward of Ko-Ko

Katisha, An Elderly lady, in love with Nanki-Poo

Chorus of School-Girls, Nobles, Guards, and Coolies

FROM THE ARCHIVES OF LIFE MAGAZINE

FROM THE ARCHIVES OF LIFE MAGAZINE
FROM THE ARCHIVES OF LIFE MAGAZINE

GROUCHO MARX AS KO KO?

Groucho Marx, a life-long fan of Gilbert and Sullivan, starred as Ko-Ko in a made-for-TV production of The Mikado in 1960.

Other well-known actors who have played the role of Ko-Ko include Eric Idle and then Bill Oddie, with English National Opera's production of The Mikado. Dudley Moore played the role when the production toured the United States

POPULAR PHRASES FROM THE MIKADO

"The Grand Pooh-Bah", introduced in episodes of The Flintstones, denoting the head of Fred Flintstone's fraternal lodge

(the Loyal Order of Water Buffalos).

THANKS FOR STOPPIN BY !

ROYAL DOULTON FLAMBE MIKADO

ROYAL DOULTON FLAMBE MIKADO
ROYAL DOULTON FLAMBE MIKADO

WHAT'S ON YOUR MIND? - WE LIKE TO HEAR YOUR THOUGHTS

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    • SciTechEditorDave profile image

      David Gardner 7 years ago from San Francisco Bay Area, California

      Fascinating information... I'm a fan of Japan and things Japanese... and I've liked, thumbs-upped, favorited, and lensrolled your lens! You are definitely one of the Grand Pooh-bahs of Squidoo! Congrats on a great job!

    • SusannaDuffy profile image

      Susanna Duffy 7 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      I love your Tobys! Blessed by an Angel today (squidoo.com/october-blessings)

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Tobbie another cool lens. 5*'s - Have a good one!

    • CollectorsCottage profile image

      CollectorsCottage 8 years ago

      Wow, another great lens! 5 big stars. Welcome to the Collectors Club group!

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      julieannbrady 8 years ago

      So the phrase "The Grand Pooh-Bah" came from the Mikado? I didn't know that!

    • ChristopherScot1 profile image

      ChristopherScot1 8 years ago

      Thanks for joining the group for A Day of Hope!

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 8 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Very educational. Thank you for the info.

    • Tobbie LM profile image
      Author

      Tobbie LM 8 years ago

      Welcome to Toby's N More Mikado lens!