John Jay Morido is a faculty member of the English Department at Mindanao State University, General Santos, where he teaches English language, literature, and arts. He has a BA in English and is now studying an MA in English Language and Literature at the Ateneo de Davao University, Davao City, Philippines. He is interested in theater and literary studies. E-mail: johnjay.morido@msugensan.edu.ph


Into the Quest of Humans and Nature: An Ecocritical Analysis of Hayao Miyazaki’s Princess Mononoke

Abstract: This study analyzes the Japanese film Princess Mononoke by Hayao Miyazaki from an ecocritical perspective. It utilizes formalism and ecocritical theories to examine ecological issues in the film’s script. The ordeal of the main character, Ashitaka, the prince of Emishi, caused by the curse of a god-turned-demon for the abusive actions of humanity, shows the diverse realities of the different tribes who reside in the mountains and their destructive actions on the environment. The film’s characters provide a tragic, meaningful, and inspirational understanding of the nature of human beings and their relationship with the environment. This study focuses on (1) nature as a moral orbit, (2) nature as a shelter for supernatural beings, (3) nature as an extension of human life, and (4) nature as cultural identity. The study concludes that the natural world has long been sacrificed for the interests of humans. Although connections between the two are undeniable and apparent, humans continue to intentionally destroy their environment, disregarding nature as an extension of one’s life, orbit of morality, and cultural identity.
Keywords: Princess Mononoke, Japanese animated film, ecocriticism, human, nature