This study examined how two films directed by Hayao Miyazaki, Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away, represent women in a perspective consistent with transnational feminism. Through a transnational feminist analysis, I conducted a textual analysis of the two films. I identified two themes within the films that relate to important issues in transnational feminism: globalization and the nation-state. Globalization appeared in both films, emphasizing its colonizing foundations in Princess Mononoke and its capitalist momentum in Spirited Away. The concept of the nation-state emerged most clearly in Princess Mononoke through a clear separation of civilization and nature. My analysis of each film established how Miyazaki depicts globalization and the nation-state to be oppressive toward women. In Princess Mononoke he does this by connecting femininity with the natural world and portraying the gendered forest as a victim of a violent and masculine human society. Similarly, his representation of capitalism in Spirited Away commodifies, targets, and divides women. The main characters of both films also perform gender in non-stereotypical ways, revealing a complexity of identity coherent with transnational feminist views. The accurate representation of global and patriarchal influences, as well as the characters’ intentional defiance of gender norms, led me to conclude that Miyazaki’s depictions of gender oppression agree with a transnational feminist perspective.


Atay, Ahmet


Communication Studies


Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Ethnicity in Communication | International and Intercultural Communication | Mass Communication | Other Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Other Film and Media Studies | Women's Studies


feminism, transnational feminism, transnational feminist analysis, globalization, capitalism, colonization, nation-state

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2015 Larissa Branovacki