Miako one of the largest cities of Japan, was, until the recent abolishment of the ecclesiastical emperor, the seat of the mikado, or spiritual prince. The city, containing nearly one million of inhabitants, is situated in the south-west of the island of Nipon, in the midst of an extensive plain, and about thirty miles from Osaca. Miako is also noted as the great stronghold of Sintuism (q.v.) — the ancient religion of Japan — of temple-worship, priests, monks, ceremonies, and ritualism. Some of the temples are of great size and splendor. Don Rodrigo de Vivero, the Spanish governor of Manilla, who visited Miako in 1608, was told that it then contained 5000 temples. He describes one in which was, an immense bronze image of Buddha. the construction of which was begun by the tycoon in 1602. He says, "I ordered one of my people to measure the thumb of the right hand; but, although he was a person of the ordinary size, he could not quite encircle it with both arms, But the size of the statue is not its only merit: the feet, hands, mouth, eyes, forehead, and other features are as perfect and as expressive as the most accomplished painter could make a portrait. When I first visited this temple it was unfinished; more than 10,000 men were daily employed upon it. The devil could not suggest to the emperor a surer expedient to get rid of his immense wealth." This colossus was injured by an earthquake in 1662, after which it was melted down and a substitute prepared of wood gilded. Kampfer, who was at Miako in 1691, describes the temple which contained this image as enclosed by a high wall of freestone, some of the blocks of which were twelve feet square. "Astone staircase of eight steps led up to the gateway, on either side of which stood a gigantic image twenty-four feet high, with the face of a lion, but otherwise well proportioned, black, and almost naked, and placed on a pedestal six feet high. Within the gateway were sixteen stone pillars on each side for lamps, and on the inside of the enclosing wall was a spacious gallery covered with a roof supported by two rows of pillars eighteen feet high and twelve feet distant from each other. Opposite the gateway, in the middle of the court, stood the temple, much the loftiest structure which Kampfer had seen in Japan, with a double roof supported by ninety-four immense wooden pillars, nine feet in diameter. The floor of the temple was paved with square flags of marble. There was nothing inside but the great image of Buddha sitting on a terete, or lotus flower, supported by another flower of which the leaves were turned upwards, the two being raised about twelve feet from the floor. The idol was gilded all over, had long ears, curled hair, and a crown on the head which appeared through the window over the first roof of the temple. The shoulders were so broad as to reach from one pillar to another, a distance of thirty feet. In front of this temple is an edifice containing a bell, which is described in the Japanese guide-books as seventeen feet two and a half inches high, and weighing 1,700,000. Japanese catties, equal to 2,066,000 English pounds, a weight five times greater than that of the famous bell at Moscow. Kampfer, however, who had seen the great bell at Moscow, describes this Japanese bell as inferior in size to that, and as being rough, ill cast, and ill shaped. It was sounded by striking it on the outside with a large wooden mallet. Another temple, dedicated to Quanwon, was very long in proportion to its breadth. In the centre was a gigantic image of Quanwon, with thirty-six arms. Sixteen black images larger than life stood round it, and on each side two rows of gilt idols, with twenty arms each. On either side of the temple, running from end to end, were ten platforms rising like steps one behind the other, on each of which stood fifty images of Quanwon as large as life — 1000 in all. each on its separate pedestal, so arranged as to stand in rows of five, one behind the other, and all visible at the same time, each with its twenty hands. On the heads and hands of all these are placed smaller idols, to the number of forty or more. The whole number of images is stated by the Japanese to be 33,000" (New American Cyclopaedia, volume 11, s.v.). Miako is also the head-quarters of literature, science, and art. The imperial palace, on the northern side of the city, is, together with its ward, a town of itself. SEE JAPAN; SEE MIKADO.

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