In the Japanese animated film Princess Mononoke, nature and humankind are represented by two strong female leaders, each intending to protect her way of life by annihilating the other. Between the two comes Ashitaka, a foreign-born warrior prince whose deep compassion, empathy and insight leave him suspended between their worlds, and therefore in a position to stop the warfare. This liminality, the quality of being "betwixt and between," empowers Ashitaka to play the Christ-like roles of mediator, martyr, and finally, savior. The film functions cross-culturally to demonstrate that in both Japan and the West, liminality, or being on the threshold between two states, may be an enabling condition of holiness, particularly in the context of peacemaking.
Hoff Kraemer, Christine
"Between the Worlds: Liminality and Self-Sacrifice in Princess Mononoke,"
Journal of Religion & Film: Vol. 8
, Article 1.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.unomaha.edu/jrf/vol8/iss2/1