I watched this video from Tale Foundry and it got me thinking:
It talks about the various fictional characters, who have killed a god or gods. One of them being Lady Eboshi from Princess Mononoke. As the video explains, these gods in this specific world are not unfathomable beings. They are just animals. They are incarnations of various aspects of the forest. Moro is just a big, intelligent wolf that can speak in human languages. Okkoto is similarly a big boar, who can talk in human languages. I forget the name of the boar from the beginning of the movie, but it’s quite similar to Okkoto. The exception to this is the Night Walker, which is a weird looking deer by day and a gigantic being by night. Moro doesn’t have many followers. Basically only the two smaller wolves we see and San, the namesake of the movie. When Okkoto arrives, it brings with it a horde of other boars.
Lady Eboshi is the leader of her people. She runs foundry, where she has brought all sorts of people, who have been outcast by society to build their own community. She is forward thinking and innovative, also encouraging people around her to be innovative. While everyone else is using bows and swords, she and her people mostly use gunpowder-based weapons they’ve built themselves. She is very progressive, but her vision of progression is also destructive as her people have been cutting down the forest, because they need the building material and the fuel. This is what has driven them into a conflict with the animals, although she is also in conflict with other people, who want to steal what she has built.
Lady Eboshi is a great character. She is kind, but also utterly ruthless, when she feels that’s the approach needed. She is inventive, but doesn’t understand the repercussions of her work, which she gladly externalizes. Her people don’t always agree with her, but they trust her, because she has brought them to where they are right now. There’s a point in the story, where she makes a point about her people by asking them about the emperor and her people don’t even know who that is. In their eyes, she is the highest form of authority.
Now, Lady Eboshi is similarly to Okkoto a leader within her own people. She is also quite tall, always towering above everyone else around her, just like Moro and Okkoto. Her people will blindly follow her, even if her actions are risking their lives, just like Moro and Okkoto. So, just as Moro is an incarnation of wolves, Okkoto is an incarnation of boars and the Night Walker is an incarnation of nature at large. Is Lady Eboshi not an incarnation of humans in the same way? She represents everything positive and negative about us.
At the same time, I do think she would just be amused if someone actually called her a god. It would be a meaningless distinction for her.