‘Princess Mononoke’ Urban Legend Revealed | Film News
For many years fans have discussed the metaphorical and thematic implications behind Studio Ghibli’s Princess Mononoke. A mythical story set during the Murmoachi period in Japan, the film quickly became classic among the western audience.
Throughout its fame however, an urban legend arose regarding certain characters that appeared in the film. They were distinguished through how bandages covered their body and were treated negatively by those around them. This led many to believe that their appearance were a reference to leprosy, an idea that has circulated among fans across the world.
Now ahead of World Leprosy day which is on January 31, director Hayao Miyazaki has finally confirmed that the legend is true. Speaking through All Nippon News Network (via Kotaku), Miyazaki discussed how the disease influenced the movie “While making Princess Mononoke, I thought I had to depict people who are ill with what’s clearly called an incurable disease, but who are living as best they can”.
This statement reflects upon how the Japanese version made use of the word gyobyo (incurable disease). The director had also been reported as having visited a Hansen’s disease sanotorium in Tokyo while making the film, drawing inspiration from former patients that were cured of the disease.
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