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Premier League

Liverpool newboy Takumi Minamino survived the Great Hashin earthquake as a new-born baby in Japan

Liverpool's new signing was just one day old when a giant earthquake struck Hanshin-Awaji, in as many as 6,434 people were killed.

Liverpool newboy Takumi Minamino survived the Great Hashin earthquake as a new-born baby in Japan

Last month, Takumi Minamino swapped Salzburg for Liverpool and described his move to Anfield as "a dream come true - I have always wanted to play in the Premier League". But life hasn't also been so rosy for the Japanese midfielder. When he was just one-day-old, Japan was rocked by one of the worst natural disasters in living memory.

The Great Hanshin Earthquake

Takumi Minamino came into the world on 16 January 1995 - a few hours later, on the morning of the 17th, a huge earthquake struck the city of Kobe, south west Japan. Takumi was born just 50 miles from the epicentre, over on the other side of Osaka Bay in Izumisano. The earthquake registered a magnitude of 6.9 on the Richter Scale claimed the lives of 6,434 people and destroyed almost a quarter of a million homes. It was the second biggest earthquake of the 20th Century.

In Izumisano, Minamino's hometown, around 70,000 buildings were destroyed. The town's infraestructure was heavily affected and the business district and other amenities such as car parks needed to be rebuilt.

Minamino playing football, after school in the car park

A car park was constructed right next door to Minamino's house and it was here he would spend hours playing football with his brother and his friends after school and trying to emulate his idol, Ronaldo Nazário.

Fast forward two decades and everything has changed for Minamino. Later this afternoon, he could make his first team debut for Liverpool and in not just any old game - a Merseyside derby and an FA Cup tie. Ganbatte Takumi san


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