1727, former title of the emperor of Japan, from mi "honorable" + kado "gate, portal." Similar to Sublime Porte, old title of the Ottoman emperor/government, and Pharaoh, which literally means "great house."
"Ottoman court at Constantinople," c. 1600, from French, in full, la Sublime Porte, literally "the high gate," translation of Arabic al-Bab al-'Ali, "lofty gate," official name of the central office of the Ottoman government (compare Vatican for "the Papacy," White House for "the United States"). Compare also Mikado. The name supposedly is a relic of the ancient custom of holding royal audience in the doorway of a king's palace or tent.
"leader who maintains excessive bureaucratic control," 1888, from Pooh Bah, the name of the "Lord High Everything Else" character in Gilbert and Sullivan's "The Mikado" (1885).