Dark-haired female character in SquareSoft's game "Bushido Blade."

Born in Kyoto, Japan, Mikado was originally a Miko, or shrine maiden. At age 22, she realized that her job should be to serve the gods and not killers like Kage, so she left Meikyokan to help in the fight against them.

Mikado's combat costume is a purple and black jumpsuit, and for training she wears a white top and flowing red pants.

Mikado is a name of an old table game:

The players let a pile of thin, sharpened sticks fall unto the table, and take turns removing one after the other, trying not to move any stick besides the one they are trying to remove. If another stick moves, even slightly, the player whose turn it is looses.

On a different note, mikado is also the title of the Japanese Emperor.

How to play Mikado

A standard set of mikado is 31 sticks, about 8 inches in length:
  • One rainbow stick worth twenty-five points, called the mikado 1 x 25
  • Five red sticks worth fifteen points 5 x 15
  • Five blue sticks worth ten points 5 x 10
  • Ten green sticks worth five points 10 x 5
  • Ten yellow sticks worth three points 10 x 3
Total 230 points

Variants can change point value, number or stick coloring, I have a set which uses red, blue and yellow bands on wooden sticks:

  • 1x spiralled Mikado (20pts)
  • 5x R B R B R (10pts)
  • 5x B R B (5pts)
  • 15x B Y R (3pts)
  • 15x B R (2pts)
Total 41 sticks, 170 points.


Determine the dealer with a coin toss, picking a stick behind the back... He will do the first throw by gathering all the sticks in one hand, bloom fashion, and drop them. The player left of the dealer starts the game by choosing and picking up one stick. Once he has chosen a stick he must pick it up without touching or moving any other stick. You cannot use a stick (except the mikado) or anything else but your fingers to pick up the sticks.

The mikado stick is special. Once picked up, it may be used to help in picking up other sticks.

Should a player move another stick while picking up his stick, his turn is over. He must tally his score and make a drop for the next player. The game continues until a set number of rounds or score is reached.

Mi*ka"do (?), n. [Jap.]

The popular designation of the hereditary sovereign of Japan.


© Webster 1913.

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