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Answered 2008-11-07 03:51:55

Although he is not the leading character in the operetta, The Mikado dominates the action throughout by his unseen presence in Act I, and when he majestically appears later in Act II. He is the ruler of Japan and all-powerful; his Word is Law! Much of the action centres around the intentions, desires and wishes of The Mikado. Besides , the operetta would not have sounded quite so grand or memorable if Gilbert & Sullivan had chosen the name of one of the major characters, such as 'Yum-Yum', 'Nanki-Poo' or 'Ko-Ko' The word "Mikado" itself was an archaic Japanese term for the "Emperor of Japan." Chosen during a period of intense popular interest in the orient, and Japan in particular, the choice of such a name for the Opera increased its public profile during the original run of the piece.

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