A Month of Japan – Princess Mononoke

A Month of Japan blog seriesBecause A Mortal Song is set in Japan, in the month leading up to the book’s release I wanted to celebrate some of the amazing media out there by Japanese creators. I’ll be highlighting my favorite books, TV shows, and films (as well as some snack box services—you need something to munch on while you’re doing all that watching and reading!). You can find a full list of my faves and other resources here on my website.

Animated Film Rec – Princess Mononoke


What it’s all about: Inflicted with a deadly curse, a young warrior named Ashitaka sets out for the forests of the west in search of the cure that will save his life. Once there, he becomes inextricably entangled in a bitter battle that matches Lady Eboshi and a proud clan of humans against the forest’s animal gods… who are led by the brave Princess Mononoke, a young woman raised by wolves.

Why you should watch it: I love pretty much all of Hayao Miyazaki’s films, and this one makes my top ten fave films of all time. The story is fast-paced but also thoughtful, the characters complex and engaging, and the animation is beautiful. Also the music! The soundtrack is just lovely. I appreciate that the environmental themes are clear without being heavy-handed, that there are plenty of powerful women characters, as always in Miyazaki’s work, and that there is no tidy ending, but more a message of potential and hope.

If you’re a Miyazaki fan, which of his movies is your fave? Let me know in the comments.

Join me tomorrow for my next rec! You can read more about A Mortal Song in the meantime:



A Month of Japan – Princess Mononoke — 2 Comments

  1. You’re so right about the music. We have the sound track, and I listen to it often. And the message of hope, too. The message to keep on trying so long as you’re alive.

    Nausicaa is a favorite for similar reasons: the same message of hope in desperate circumstance, and of the possibility of regeneration, and of working past fear. It was one of the first things I’d seen where the monsters were expressly not monsters, where what’s ugly and frightful is *not* bad.

    I also really love Totoro, which we saw when we were living in Japan and had kids of an appropriate age. They had the (Japanese) dialogue of that film memorized! It was such a beautiful depiction of what a sibling relationship could be, and it was frightening without cheap thrills, and beautiful without sentimentality.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please verify that you are a real person by answering the question below. *