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Sabaku no tami (Desert Tribe)
Manga by Hayao Miyazaki

Sabaku no Tami Sample Page
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"Sabaku no tami" is a manga which Miyazaki wrote for a newspaper targeted for children. It is more of a graphic novel than a manga, since most of the text are written outside of the frames and there are very few dialogue bubbles (though towards the end of the story, it moved closer to the traditional manga style).

The story is surprisingly dark considering that this was written for children. It deals with the devastation of war, betrayal, and the ugliness of the human nature under desperate situations, including deaths of several characters. One can see the influence of Osamu Tezuka in the art style of this manga (as in most of the manga written in this time), but you can also clearly see the style and motives you find in Miyazaki's later works such as "Nausicaä". In a sense, this is a prototype of "Nausicaä".

The Story

11th century, Central Asia. Tem was a boy of Soqute. He and his father lived in a tent on the Steppe, herding their sheep. One day, they found a wounded Soqute man named Kughil and brought him back to their tent. It turned out that the man was being chased by the Kittarl, the powerful nomads who had been running over the entire Steppe. When Tem's father refused to give up the man, the Kittarl soldiers killed him. Tem and the Soqute man managed to escape, however, and headed for the Capital of Soqute, Pejite. Before he arrived at Tem's tent, Kughil had lost his caravan to Kittarl, and was trying to organize the rebel force against Kittarl (which was why the soldiers were after him). On the way to Pejite, the two met a girl, Sasan. She was looking for her brother, and joined Tem and Kughil to the journey to Pejite.

When the three arrived at the city, Pejite had been already fallen into the hands of the Kittarl, and the Soqutes had been enslaved. Kughil and Tem tried to organize a rebellion against Kittarl, but their lives and mission were jeopardized when a spy told the Kittarl about their plan...

Serialized in:


Not available commercially.

Related media:


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The manga shown here are Copyrighted by Nibariki/Tokuma Shoten/Viz Communications/and other respective right holders.
The artwork and translations of published material are reproduced here only for the purpose of encouraging interest in, and discussion about, the works of Miyazaki.

All text in Manga by Hayao Miyazaki pages by Ryoko Toyama.
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