(Toshima Park, the name of an amusement park)
[EDIT 11/2020: On August 31, 2020, Toshima-en closed permanently.]
To the average Tōkyōite, Toshima-en is an amusement park. To Japanese history fans, Tohima-en is an amusement park built on the ruins of 練馬城 Nerima-jō Nerima Castle.
This “castle” was actually a hilltop fortification that the 豊嶋氏 Toshima-shi Toshima clan established in the 1330’s as an outpost to protect their larger 石神井城 Shakuji’i-jō Shakuji’i Castle[i]. All of the Toshima held castles and fortifications fell to the 太田道灌 Ōta Dōkan in the 1470’s. Dōkan was the first warlord to really stir up shit in the area near Edo and he made his main fortification in the Chiyoda area[ii], by kicking out the Edo clan and taking over their satellite fort on the coast. He hunted down and killed off the Toshima clan and forced the Edo clan to stay at their distant fort in Kitami. In short, the path of this corner of the Kantō region changed dramatically with the fall of these castles and clans – and they fell Game of Thrones style. Dōkan himself would be assassinated a few years later.
But today, the Sengoku Period fortification that was Nerima “castle” is an amusement park. One of the main attractions, a waterslide called ﾊｲﾄﾞﾛﾎﾟﾘｽ Hydropolis, is built on one of the old natural fortifications and you can still see part of the natural moat system. And while Japanese castles are pretty cool, waterslides are way more fun than warfare, killing off entire families, and forcing people to do 切腹 seppuku ritual suicide. Also, 4 sweet, sweet words: Japanese Girls In Bikinis™.
- What’s Toshimaen? (official website)
- Wanna read my original article about Edo? (Ōta Dōkan)
- Wanna read my original article about Nerima? (the area in general)
- Wanna read my original article about Shakuji’i? (the Toshima)
- Wanna read my original article about Toshima? (the Toshima)
- Wanna read my original article about Dōkan’yama? (Ōta Dōkan)
- No thanks. I just wanna look at Japanese girls in bikinis. (fair enough)
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[i] The clan’s patriarch controlled the main “castle” at 平塚城 Hiratsuka-jō Hiratsuka Castle in modern day 北区 Kita-ku Kita Ward.
[ii] Edo Castle.