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The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags are used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.
For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for Mononoke-hime can be found here.
Japanese animated film director Hayao Miyazaki, also co-founder of Studio Ghibli, an animation studio and production company, wrote and directed Mononoke-hime (English: Princess Mononoke).
The Japanese word Hime, meaning "princess", is pronounced like this: pronounce Hi like the English word "he", then pronounce me like the English word "may" or the "me" in "merry (christmas)".
San is Princess Mononoke, a human child thrown to the wolves. Instead of killing her, the wolf adopted her.
It takes place in the Muromachi Era (1392-1573, or 1333-1467, depending on the scholar), around the time of the War of Onin (1467-1477). Miyazaki chose this era since the relationship between the Japanese and nature changed greatly around that time. During the Muromachi Era, iron production jumped, which required great numbers of trees to be cut down (for charcoal), and people came to feel that they could control nature. Also, it was the time before Japan as we know it was formed. It was a confusing, yet lively era. Women had more freedom, and a lot of new arts were born. The rigid class structure of Samurai, farmers, and artisans was yet to be established. Miyazaki sees similarities between the Muromachi era and the current era, which is going through various changes and confusion.
Kodama means "echo" (its literal meaning is a "tree spirit"). However, since its name is written in Katakana, not in Kanji, it could also mean "small ball" or "small spirit". They (there are many, in various sizes and shapes) are a kind of spirit who live in the forest. Although Kodama (a tree spirit) appears in many Japanese folktales, Kodama as a little white creature is Miyazaki's creation.
『姫』 "Hime" means "Princess" in Japanese. Ghibli has given "Mononoke Hime" the English title "Princess Mononoke". Mononoke Hime (or Princess Mononoke) is what San, the heroine, is called by other people, since she was raised by a mononoke and looks and acts like a mononoke. In times, when medical knowledge had not been fully developed, mononoke were believed to be spirits that were said to do things like possess individuals and make them suffer, cause disease, or even cause death.
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