JAPAN: No Mikado, Much Regret

In the 62 years that Gilbert & Sullivan's The Mikado has been around, the Japanese had never once performed it. Obviously Pish-Tush's lines ridiculed the Emperor:

Our great Mikado, virtuous man,

When he to rule our land began,

Resolved to try a plan whereby

Young men might best be steadied.

So he decreed, in words succinct.

That all who flirted, leered or winked (Unless connubially linked),

Should forthwith be beheaded.

Now that neither the Emperor nor his people felt so strongly about the sacredness of His Majesty, the first all-Japanese performance of The Mikado was all...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!