- 総合政策研究 (ISSN:1341996X)
- vol.28, pp.99-107, 2008-03
Japanese view on nature is closely related to the forests in Japan. Without a doubt Japanese mentality and religions (above all, Shinto and Buddhism) are influenced by the forest. Many thinkers, for example Takeshi UMEHARA and Yoshinori YASUDA, have already pointed out this relationship. It is essential for todays environmental ethics to overcome the Cartesian view. Therefore a new idea of nature is in need, which is meant to show a way, how humans and nature can coexist. Looking at Japanese view on nature, is it possible to find an answer to the question of how this coexistence can be accomplished in harmony? Hayao MIYAZAKI's masterpiece "Princess Mononoke" questions the optimistic opinion about the coexistence supposed to be offered by the Japanese attitude. The movie deals with a tragic conflict between human beings and nature, in which neither hero nor villain appears and where no line can be drawn between god and evil. By that Miyazaki suggests the destiny of every living being: One lives at the cost of the other. Such violence is as inherent in nature as in human beings. Unfortunately in Japan this subject has not often been pointed out yet. By a philosophical interpretation of the movie this article examines the problems of the Japanese view on nature.