Mononoke Hime Title

Important Characters and Places




Main Characters



San

San, Mononoke Hime

The heroine of this story. She was abandoned in the forest by humans and was raised by Moro, a giant white Wolf God. Moro considers San as her daughter and a member of her clan but the other forest gods still see her as a human. This makes San an outcast. She has fallen between two worlds, the world of the forest and the world of the humans and neither humans nor the other forest gods consider her as a fully fledged member of their society. Protected by Moro and her clan, San does not consider herself a human and carries an intense hatred against the humans who invade and destroy the forest. Riding on a white wolf and carrying a strange mask she regularly attacks the Tatara Ba. After she encounters Ashitaka her heart balances between the forest and this strange human that seems so different from the ones she encountered before.

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Ashitaka

Ashitaka

The hero of this story. He is a member of the Emishi clan who hide from the Shogun and the samurai of the Yamato regime. He was destined to become leader of his people. He is extremely skilled with the bow. One day he killed the Tatari Gami to save Kaya and two other girls of his clan but was affected by the Curse which slowly kills him. With Yakkuru as his only compagnion he leaves his village in search for a cure, knowing that he can never return. His only leads are the bullet that was found in the body of the Tatari Gami and the advice of Hii-sama to head for the West. He has a strong sense of justice and tries to stop the war between humans and forest gods.

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Forest Gods



Shishi Gami

Shishi Gami

The Shishi Gami or the God of the Forest is a supreme being that has the power over life and death of all that lives in the forest. At every step plants and flowers sprout from the place where his feet touch the ground and die off immediately afterwards. He has the power to take life and give life. He doesn't seem to carry any grudge against humans in spite of their efforts to conquer the forest and to get hold of his head. All creatures in the forest respect and obey him altough the faith of the Boar Gods has been dealth a serious blow after they learned that he saved Ashitaka's life while he let the Boar God Lord Nago die. When he crosses a lake or a pool he walks on the water surface. The Shishi Gami is born during the new moon and repeats his life and death cycle every month according to the phases of the moon. It is believed that his head carries the power of eternal youth.

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Moro

Moro

Moro is an Inu Gami, a giant white Wolf God who masters human language. She raised San as her own daughter to become Mononoke Hime. Together with her two sons and San she fights the people of the Tatara ba and any human who defiles the sacred woods of the Shishi Gami.

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Okkotonushi

Okkotonushi

Okkotonushi is an Inoshishi Gami, a Boar God. He is extremely old. Some sources say 500 year. Like Moro he has mastered the human language. He is the leader of the Boar Gods and has raised an army of Boar Gods in order to eradicate the human presence in the region. There are some disputes between his and Moro's clan but with the human threat close by he realizes that the Forest Gods must unite if they are ever to defeat the humans.

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Shoujou

Shoujou

Shoujou are gorilla like creatures. They try to plant new trees where the the humans have cut them down but are unsuccessful. They hate humans as much as the other Forest Gods but do not participate in the battle. They fight back by trying to rebuild the forest.

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Tatari Gami

Tatari Gami

The Tatari Gami or Curse God is not a separate species. Each Forest God can turn into a Tatari Gami when his pain and/or anger reaches its apogee. When this happens wormlike tentacles sprout from his body until he is entirely covered by them. When this transformation is complete the Tatari Gami can direct these small worms to create giant tentacles that can be used for movement and attack. Each living creature that is touched by these tentacles falls victim to the Curse and is fated to die a slow and painful death.

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Kodama

Kodama

These forest spirits require a rich forest to live in. They have half translucent bodies with color tints that range from light grey to light yellow. When they shake their heads a rattling sound can be heard much like a childs rattle. They don't seem to have any hostile feelings against humans. They showed Ashitaka the way to the Tatara Ba and playfully mimicked his behaviour.

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Didarabocchi

Didarabochi

During the night the Shishi Gami turns into the Didarabochi. A gigantic creature of over 40 meters with a half translucent body that radiates a pale, blue light. It wanders all night through the forest and must disappear again before the first ray of sunlight touches its body.

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Tatara Clan



Tatara Ba

     

Tatara Ba

The Tatara Ba or "Iron making place" is the home of the Tatara clan. It is a heavily fortified fortress in which the Tatara people make iron by putting iron sands and charcoal in a clay furnace. They use the iron to make Ishibiya, "Hand Cannons". They cut down the forest to get the charcoal.

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Eboshi Gozen

Eboshi Gozen

She is the leader of the Tatara Clan. The mere fact that a woman can become leader of a clan indicates that she must not be taken lightly. She buys girls who would otherwise have ended up in prostitution and gives them work at the Tatara Ba where they push giant foot bellows (tatara) that are used in the iron making process. She can stand her own in a fight with either sword or Ishibiya. She leads the battles against the forest gods and the samurai of Asano Kobou and is respected by both men and women.

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Gonza

Gonza

Gonza is one of the lieutenants of Eboshi. He is somewhat hot-tempered but is devoted to Eboshi. He fights with a sword the size of a standing man but also knows how to use Ishibiya. He doesn't like Ashitaka because he thinks he is a spy.

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Kouroku

Kouroku

Kouroku is also a lieutenant of Eboshi. He is in charge of the transports that bring food and all sorts of goods to the Tatara Ba. During one of these transports he was attacked by Moro and fell into a ravine. He and one of his man were saved by Ashitaka and brought back to Tatara Ba. Unlike Gonza, he is a calm somewhat timid man. He even lets his wife, Toki, lecture him in public but that is probably because he is very much in love with her.

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Toki

Toki

Toki is one of the women who pushes the giant bellows in the forge of the Tatara Ba. She is a very confident and authoritive woman who can stand her own. She doesn't need a man to tell her what to do and she certainly isn't impressed by Gonza. She loves Kouroku and is grateful to Ashitaka for saving him. She also knows how to use an Ishibiya.

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Blacksmith

Blacksmiths

The blacksmiths that live at the Tatara Ba are all lepers. Normally they would be social outcasts but Eboshi provided them with shelter and protection at the Tatara Ba. In return they work for her as blacksmith and construct the Ishibiya.

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Women

Women

If it wasn't for Eboshi these women would have been forced into prostitution. They were bought by Eboshi and now work for her at the Tatara Ba where they push giant foot bellows (tatara) to make iron. This work is very hard but they do not complain because at Tatara Ba they are considered free people and are treated likewise.

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Shishou Ren



Jiko Bou

Jiko Bou

He has the appearance of a friendly monk but he is a member of a mysterious organization called the Shishou Ren. When he first meets Ashitaka he tells him about the forest of the Shishi Gami. They part as friends but it becomes soon clear that Jiko has a hidden agenda: he is ordered by his organisation to capture the head of the Shishi Gami. He commands the Ishibiya Syuu, the "Ishibiya People" who were lent to Eboshi by the Shishou Ren for protection while the Tatara Ba was constructed. He also commands Jibashiri, "Those who run on the ground", who try to locate the pool of the Shishi Gami.

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Ishibiya Syuu

Ishibiya Syuu

The Shishou Ren lent these warriors to Eboshi to protect the Tatara Ba against the forest gods and the samurai of Asano Kobou. There are not many of them but with their ishibiya handcannons they are a fighting force to be reckoned with.

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Karakasa Ren

Karakasa Ren

They are commanded by Jiko Bou and have only one goal: capture the head of the Shishi Gami at any cost. They don't even hasitate to sacrifice people of Tatara Ba if it serves their needs. They carry umbrellas, "karakasa", which they use as protection against arrows. The handles of these umbrellas can be used as a blowgun.

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Jibashiri

Jibashiri

The Jibashiri or "Those who run on the ground" are extremely skilled trappers who wear animal hides as camouflage. Their mission is to locate the pool of the Shishi Gami. They are under the command of Jiko Bou.

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Emishi Clan



Ji-san

Ji-san

A member of the Emishi clan. He is to guard the hidden Emishi village. He sits in a high look-out from where he has a clear view of the nearby forest. It is he who first notices that something is wrong when all of sudden the birds in the forest become silent and something approaches. Something powerful enough to knock down massive trees that are in its path.

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Kaya

Kaya

Kaya is one of the girls of the Emishi clan. It was to save her life and that of her two friends that Ashitaka killed the Tatari Gami. Kaya is in love with Ashitaka and calls him "Ani-sama". When Ashitaka leaves the village because of his curse she bids him farewell, although it is forbidden by the clan's tradition, and gives him an obsidian knife as a good luck charm and a sign of her love for him. However, it remains unclear if Ashitaka truly returns her feelings.

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Hii-sama

Hii-sama

One of the elders of the Emishi clan. Hii-sama posesses great knowledge and wisdom. She uses stones and pieces of wood for her fortunetelling. It was she who advised Ashitaka to head for the west in an attempt to find a cure for his curse.

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Yakkuru

Yakkuru

Yakkuru is a member of a species called Akashishi, "Red Deer". This species does not exist in real life. When Miyazaki created it, he based it on a Yak, hence its name. Yakkuru is very intelligent and loyal. On flat terrain it is as fast as a horse while it can cross difficult terrain by making long jumps like a mountain goat even with Ashitaka on its back. This makes this species a better mount than a horse.

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This page was last updated on September 8, 1998