The same month when storyboards came about [for the movie], Miyazaki set off to the ancient forests of Yakushima, in Kyushu and the mountains of Shirakami-Sanchi in northern Honshu [of Japan].
It was just right, the ruins of this ancient forest reflects on us as humans. We need to learn to appreciate what we have left of the environment, and I wanted this as a theme for the animation.” -Miyazaki on his inspiration for Princess Mononoke

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