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Lady Eboshi is the main antagonist of Princess Mononoke. She was portrayed by Yuko Tanaka in Japanese and Minnie Driver in English.

Watch closely everyone. I'm going to show you how to kill a god. A god of life and death.
—Eboshi, preparing to kill the Forest Spirit.

Personality

Eboshi is a greedy woman who 'wants to rule the world'. As the leader of Irontown, the townspeople love her, giving her the highest gratitude as she was the one who freed them from their oppressive environments by bringing them all to her Irontown where she has the girls work the forge and the lepers make guns for her making her a grey character.

In pressing situations she's shown as calm and collected, attributing to her status as a leader. She has a definite authoritative air about her, though behind there's a good deal of arrogance, which Ashitaka inevitably sees and provokes. She's also a very strong female who understands the injustice of a women's position in society. Needless to say, all of the women in the town have established the belief that men are all infidels. Despite her ambitious agenda she in the end when Iron Town is destroyed is shown to be remorseful.

Physical Appearance

She has black hair that she ties up in some sort of traditional style, finishing off with a pink ribbon. She's the only female in the film who wears lipstick. She wears Hakama, a dark red male kimono, and a huge cloak that she hangs on her shoulders. This outfit is reminiscent of 'Shirabyoushi'[1], which hints at her backstory. And it is her unexplained difficult past, which provokes her high opinion of herself, and her low opinion of others problems. When she's in her 'battle attire' she wears a shorter cloak and a red 'eboshi cap' which gave her name.

Past

She was a slave sold to pirates. Later on she became the wife of the pirate, who lead the first pirates of Japan. Then the leader was murdered in his home town and Eboshi became free on her own. Soon she saw Ishibiya, the Chinese guns. She used it to conquer the area of the Cedar Forest.[2]

Plot

Lady Eboshi is first seen when she is with her army transporting rice to Irontown where they are attacked by San and the wolves but survive. When Ashitaka comes to Irontown he meets Eboshi. Ashitaka learns that Eboshi is responsible for turning Nago into the demon. Then San comes to Irontown to fight her. Later she cuts off the head of the Forest Spirit and has her right arm bitten off by Moro. After the land is healed, she promises to rebuild a better town and leave the forest alone.

Trivia

  • Irony: Eboshi offered to cut off Ashitaka's arm to be rid if his curse. Moro later bit HER arm off.

Gallery

References

  1. performers who danced in men's attire
  2. 『「もののけ姫」はこうして生まれた。』 (Japanese), page 94 + 95