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MIKADO (Japanese for "exalted gate"), the poetical title associated by foreign countries with the sovereign of Japan; the Japanese title, corresponding to " emperor," is tenno, the term kotci being used of his function in relation to external affairs. By the constitution of 1889, the emperor of Japan transferred a large part of his former powers as absolute monarch to the representatives of the people, but as head of the empire he appoints the ministers, declares war, makes peace and concludes treaties, acting generally as a constitutional sovereign but with all the personal authority attaching to his august position. The history of the mikados goes back to very early times, but from 1600 to 1868 the real power was in the hands of the shoguns, who nevertheless were in ceremonial theory always successively invested with their authority by the mikado. The revolution of 1867 restored the real power into the mikado's hands. (See Japan: History; and Muisu-Hixo.)

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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