Ashikaga (äˌshēkäˈgä) [key], 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.