Ashikaga(ä'shēkä`gä), city (1990 pop. 167,686), Tochigi prefecture, central Honshu, Japan. An old silk-weaving center, it is famous for its spinning and nylon textile industries. The city is also the ancestral home of the Ashikaga shoguns (1338–1597). It has an ancient school (probably founded 9th cent.), which is known for its vast library of Chinese classics. Ashikaga's 12th-century temple is treasured by the Japanese.
the second dynasty of shoguns, the militaristic feudal rulers of medieval Japan (from 1335 or 1338 until 1573). The power of the dynasty was threatened by the growing strength of the local princes (the daimyo). Internecine feudal wars that began in the mid-15th century led to the division of the country into separate, almost independent principalities and to the complete weakening of the power of the Ashikaga dynasty, whose last representative was overthrown by Oda Nobunaga.