Princess Mononoke

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Princess Mononoke (もののけ姫, Mononoke-hime?) is a 1997 epic Japanese animated historical fantasy feature film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki of Studio Ghibli. “Mononoke” (物の怪?) is not a name, but a general term in the Japanese language for a spirit or monster. The film was first released in Japan on July 12, 1997, and in the United States on October 29, 1999.

Princess Mononoke is a period drama set specifically in the late Muromachi period of Japan but with numerous fantastic elements. The story concentrates on involvement of the outsider Ashitaka in the struggle between the supernatural guardians of a forest and the humans of the Iron Town who consume its resources. There are no good and evil in this struggle and the sympathies of the film makers keep switching. There can be no clear victory, and the hope is that relationship between humans and the nature is cyclic.[1]

A kodama (木魂?) is a spirit from Japanese folklore, which is believed to live in certain trees (similar to the Dryad of Greek myth).

Cutting down a tree which houses a kodama is thought to bring misfortune, and such trees are often marked with shimenawa rope.


Toriyama Sekien‘s illustration of a kodama appearing as an old man.

Bjork – Isobel

Peter Gabriel

Mononoke Hime, by Joe Hisaishi

Anime, like manga, has a large audience in Japan and recognition throughout the world. 

Which one is your favourit anime?

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