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Sons of Heaven

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63747.  Wed Apr 05, 2006 2:43 am Reply with quote

Would this catch anyone out / interest anyone?

Q: What is the Japanese for 'Emperor'?

F: Mikado

A: Tenno. The word 'Mikado' hasn't been used since ancient times in Japan; its use in the west was popularized by the Gilbert & Sullivan operetta.

'Mikado' means literally 'exalted gate'. 'Tenno' means 'son of Heaven'.

Through most of Japanese history the role of the Tenno has alternated between that of a supreme cleric with a largely symbolic role and that of an actual Imperial ruler; there isn't a clear tradition of military leadership as in the west.

Conventions of inheritance have varied also; mostly succession has been by rotation between various branches of the Royal family, with several members of one generation succeeding each other before passing the title to the next generation, although they now operate primogeniture on a model imported from Prussia in the 1870s.

63761.  Wed Apr 05, 2006 4:34 am Reply with quote

Personally, the forfeit wouldn't have worked on me: I thought Mikado was an actual geezer's name. So this would be a shrugger, for me. Might work on someone who actually knows things, though!

63763.  Wed Apr 05, 2006 4:37 am Reply with quote

Agreed. Maybe one for the clever-panellist-special Flash? Or are we already overloaded with questions for that one?

63768.  Wed Apr 05, 2006 4:58 am Reply with quote

Speaking as somewhat of a veteran of the Gilbert & Sullivan repertoire, even I wouldn't have thought of that forfeit. I actually assumed that the title was made-up by Gilbert to sound Japanese.

63798.  Wed Apr 05, 2006 6:23 am Reply with quote

Sounds like a non-starter, then. Apologies - I'll commit seppuku.

63805.  Wed Apr 05, 2006 6:54 am Reply with quote

And everyone knows Carol Vorderman made that one up.


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