Princess Mononoke (邦題:もののけ姫) directed by Hayao Miyazaki first played on July 12th 1997. It took three years to make the film and the movie made 19.3 billion yen (about 198 million dollars) at the box office and marked a record high of 14.2 million visitors. Princess Mononoke won many awards such as the Grand Prize at the Japan Media Arts Festival, the Best Japanese Movie at the Mainichi Film Award, the Japan Academy Prize for the best picture award, and so on.
During ancient times in Japan, people thought that the gods dwelt in nature. In this story, the gods are real and they come in the forms of Tatari-gmai that is transformed from a boar, Kodama that live in forest that’s bursting with life, and Shishi-gami that manages life and death, but all of them play a vital role in protecting nature from humanity.
There are also unique characters. The main character, Ashitaka, is cursed by Tatari-gami near his village, and tries to find a way to break the spell. On his journey, he meets a girl named San or Princess Mononoke as Lady Eboshi, the owner of an iron smelting plant or Tatara place, which is the traditional Japanese furnace for smelting iron, calls her. Ashitaka meets Eboshi and San in his journey and understands how both have a role to play in nature, but knows that they have taken on destructive roles.
Over and over, San tries to break into Lady Eboshi’s village and disrupt the workings of the smelter. While on the other end, Eboshi tries to kill the wild animals assaulting her workers and take care ofo the women who work at her plant many of whom were invalids with nowhere else to go. In addition, Eboshi doesn’t care about conflicting Shishi-gami, and even killing the god to protect her society.
What is justice? What is injustice? I don’t think either San or Eboshi is to blame.
This film is not only a story about nature and human society. Some animals in a forest discriminate against San who is also human. San is a human and a wolf. However San isn’t a human or a wolf at the same time.
People can choose their roles in nature, but sometimes what they want cannot be allowed by their circumstances. Finally Ashitaka suggests human should coexist with nature. We want you to watch Princess Mononoke and then think about what you do for.