"A long, long time ago, this land was covered with deep forests. Within these forests lived ancient gods."
One day, near a hidden Emishi village in the North East of Japan. All scouts and hunters have been ordered to return to the village because something strange is happening in the forest. One of them, Ashitaka, encounters three girls of his clan and tells them to head back to the village while he will go see Ji-san and try to find out what is going on.
He joins Ji-san in his high look-out and together they see something approaching. Something big and extremely powerful because massive trees are knocked down as the creature approaches. The creature becomes visible when it reaches the edge of the forest. It is the size of an elephant and it is completely covered with wormlike creatures. When it leaves the shadows of the forest and comes into direct contact with the sunlight the worms pull back into the shadow for a few moments and a gigantic boar becomes visible underneath. When the worms cover once again its body the creature continous its mad run. Straight for the look-out! Ji-san identifies the creature as "Tatari Gami". Ashitaka shouts to Yakkuru at the bottom of the look-out to run for it but the animal remains frozen. He fires an arrow just beside it, breaking the spell, and Yakkuru runs out of the path of the Tatari Gami. The look-out is taken down by the monster and Ji-san and Ashitaka end up in the top of a tree. Then they notice that the Tatari Gami is heading for the village. Riding on Yakkuru, Ashitaka goes after it. Near the village, they manage to catch up with the beast. At that moment they both notice the three girls running towards the village. The Tatari Gami immediately goes after this easy prey while Ashitaka desperately tries to draw its attention away from the girls. When one of them falls, her compagnion, Kaya stops and pulls her short sword in a grim attempt to defend her friend. Ashitaka knowing she stands no chance against the beast tries to attract its attention. When this doesn't succeed he shoots an arrow in one of its eyes. That finally focuses its attention on him and the Tatari Gami gives pursuit. It lashes at him with its tentacles and catches his right arm. Ashitaka fires another arrow in its head and this finally stops the beast. It starts decompozing at an incredible rate while the villagers pay homage to this once forest god. Ashitaka is left with the imprint of the Tatari Gami's tentacles on his right arm. Hii-sama warns everyone not to touch that wound. Kaya pours some water over it in an attempt to get it off but with no ill effect. Upon finding the bullet in the decompozed body of the boar god, Hii-sama explains that his pain and hatred drove this noble Boar God to become a Tatari Gami. She also tells that Ashitaka is inflicted with the Curse and will die a slow and painfull death. She advises him to head for the West "to go and see with unclouded eyes" in an attempt to find out what is going on in the sacred woods and to perhaps find a cure for the Curse. Ashitaka ritually cuts his hair and prepares to leave the village with Yakkuru as his only compagnion. Although it is forbidden, Kaya meets him before he leaves and gives him her obsidian knife. It is meant as a protective amulet and a token of her love for him. Ashitaka accepts her gift and as she watches him disappear into the night she stands there silently. She sheds no tears but her heart cries at the tought that she will probably never see him again.
This page was last updated on February 7, 1999