Siobhan Gormley

Written by Siobhan Gormley

Modified & Updated: 18 May 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett


Princess Mononoke is a beloved animated film created by the legendary Japanese director, Hayao Miyazaki. The film tells the thrilling and thought-provoking tale of the conflict between humans and the forces of nature. At the center of this captivating story is the protagonist, Ashitaka. Ashitaka is a young warrior from the Emishi tribe and the main character of Princess Mononoke. Throughout the film, he embarks on a journey filled with adventure, self-discovery, and a quest for peace. In this article, we will delve deeper into the world of Ashitaka as we uncover 14 fascinating facts about his character and his remarkable role in the storyline of Princess Mononoke.

Key Takeaways:

  • Ashitaka is a courageous hero with archery skills, a cursed arm, and a compassionate heart. He fights for peace between humans and nature, forming a close bond with Princess Mononoke.
  • Ashitaka’s journey is filled with mystical encounters, conflicts, and a bittersweet ending. His resilience and determination make him an inspiring character, advocating for harmony between humans and spirits.
Table of Contents

Ashitaka is the main protagonist in the film.

Ashitaka is introduced to us as a young prince of the Emishi tribe in the animated film “Princess Mononoke.” He embarks on a journey to find a cure for a curse that has befallen him.

Ashitaka possesses exceptional archery skills.

Throughout the film, Ashitaka demonstrates remarkable accuracy and precision in archery, often using his bow and arrow to defend himself and others.

His arm is cursed by a demonic creature.

During an encounter with a ferocious boar god corrupted by an evil spirit, Ashitaka is attacked and left with a cursed arm that gives him supernatural strength but also threatens to consume him.

Ashitaka aims to find the Forest Spirit.

Motivated by his desire to lift the curse and restore peace between humans and nature, Ashitaka sets out on a quest to locate the mystical Forest Spirit, hoping it can help him find a resolution to the conflict.

He forms a close bond with San, the titular Princess Mononoke.

Ashitaka develops a deep connection with San, a human girl who was raised by wolves. Together, they fight for the preservation of the forest and seek to reconcile the differences between humans and spirits.

Ashitaka values compassion and empathy.

Throughout his journey, Ashitaka demonstrates a strong moral compass, consistently showing care and understanding towards others, both humans and spirits alike.

He is skilled in hand-to-hand combat.

In addition to his archery skills, Ashitaka is proficient in close-quarters combat, using his strength and agility to defend himself and those he cares about.

Ashitaka encounters various supernatural creatures.

During his quest, Ashitaka encounters a wide array of mystical beings, including the Forest Spirit, kodama (tree spirits), and the enigmatic Deer God.

He wears a distinct red elk skin garment.

Ashitaka is recognizable by his traditional attire, which includes a distinctive red elk skin garment that signifies his connection to nature and his quest for balance.

His journey takes him to the land of Iron Town.

In his search for answers, Ashitaka travels to Iron Town, a bustling industrial settlement ruled by Lady Eboshi, where he witnesses the destructive impact of human progress on the environment.

Ashitaka confronts the conflicts between humans and nature.

As the film progresses, Ashitaka finds himself caught in the midst of a battle between Lady Eboshi’s forces and the spirits of the forest, continuously striving for a peaceful resolution.

He seeks to unite humans and spirits.

Ashitaka becomes a mediator, advocating for harmony between humans and spirits as he believes in the potential for coexistence and understanding.

Ashitaka is a symbol of resilience and determination.

Throughout the film, Ashitaka faces numerous challenges and hardships, but his unwavering resolve to find a peaceful resolution makes him an inspiring and compelling character.

His journey leads to a bittersweet ending.

Without revealing too much, Ashitaka’s quest for peace has significant consequences, leading to a poignant conclusion that resonates with viewers long after the film ends.


Ashitaka, the main protagonist of the animated film “Princess Mononoke,” is a captivating and complex character. Throughout the movie, we are introduced to various facets of Ashitaka’s personality and witness his personal growth. From his unwavering determination to find a cure for his curse to his empathy towards both humans and nature, Ashitaka serves as a symbol of harmony and balance.

His journey to understand the conflict between humans and nature, and his attempts to bridge the gap between the two, make Ashitaka a truly memorable character. With his stoic demeanor, remarkable combat skills, and unwavering sense of justice, Ashitaka captures the hearts of audiences worldwide.

Whether you’re a long-time fan of “Princess Mononoke” or just discovering this incredible character, exploring the 14 facts about Ashitaka helps deepen our understanding and appreciation for the film and its central figure.

From his origin story as the last prince of the Emishi tribe to his pivotal role in the battle for the forest’s survival, Ashitaka’s journey is one worth experiencing.


1. Who is Ashitaka?

Ashitaka is the main protagonist in the animated film “Princess Mononoke.” He is a prince from the Emishi tribe who becomes cursed during a battle and sets out on a journey to find a cure.

2. What is Ashitaka’s curse?

Ashitaka’s curse is a mark left on his arm by a demon. The curse gives him supernatural strength but will eventually kill him. Ashitaka is determined to find a way to lift the curse and save his life.

3. What is the role of Ashitaka in “Princess Mononoke”?

Ashitaka serves as a mediator between the humans and the creatures of the forest. He tries to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict and understand the complex relationship between humans and nature.

4. Does Ashitaka have any unique abilities?

Yes, Ashitaka possesses incredible strength and combat skills. His curse grants him heightened senses and the ability to fight with great skill.

5. What is Ashitaka’s relationship with San?

San, also known as Princess Mononoke, is a wolf girl raised by the wolf god Moro. Ashitaka develops a deep connection with San and becomes a crucial ally in her fight to protect the forest.

6. How does Ashitaka’s character develop throughout the film?

Ashitaka starts as a brave and noble prince seeking to protect his people. However, as he encounters the conflicts and complexities of the forest, his beliefs and understanding of the world evolve, turning him into a compassionate and wise individual.

7. What is the significance of Ashitaka’s deer mount, Yakul?

Yakul serves as Ashitaka’s loyal companion throughout his journey. The bond between Ashitaka and Yakul symbolizes their strong connection to nature and the harmony they strive to achieve.

8. How does Ashitaka represent the overarching theme of “Princess Mononoke”?

Ashitaka embodies the theme of balance and harmony between humans and nature. He seeks to find a compromise that allows both to coexist instead of perpetuating the cycle of destruction.

Ashitaka's captivating journey in "Princess Mononoke" leaves viewers eager to explore more fascinating aspects of Japanese animation and cinema. Delving into the visionary mind behind this masterpiece, Hayao Miyazaki, reveals a wealth of intriguing facts about his life and work. For those enchanted by the magical world of Studio Ghibli, "Ponyo" offers another delightful tale filled with wonder and adventure. Stepping beyond animation, Japanese cinema boasts a rich history, exemplified by the epic "Samurai 1: Musashi Miyamoto," which brings to life the legendary swordsman's extraordinary story.

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