I finally had a chance to sit down and watch a thouroughly enjoyable, but overlooked, anime film from 1990 called "Like the Clouds, Like the Wind (Kumo no You Ni, Kaze no You Ni)". The story is set in China, and centers around a teenage girl who, almost on a whim, decides to compete for the chance to become the new Emperor's first wife. Ginga has a salty tongue and an independant disposition, much like the Miyazaki heroines; she ruffles feathers and makes impressions with everyone she encounters.
This film is often mistaken in the West for a lost Ghibli production, thanks largely to the character designs (which remind me a lot of Yoshifumi Kondo's drawing style, as well as Miyazaki's) and strong feminist bent. If that's your guess, I'll give you half-credit. Kumo Kaze (as it's also known) was the work of Studio Pierre, but the Animation Director and Character Designer was Katsuya Kondo (no relation), who's been a leading animator at Ghibli ever since its inception.