city, Tochigi ken (prefecture), Honshu, Japan. It is located on the Watarase River. Ashikaga Takauji, who established the Ashikaga shogunate in the 14th century, was born there. Ashikaga was a post town on the Nikko Highway during the Tokugawa era (1603-1867). It was a dyeing and weaving centre for several centuries, and after the national railway was opened in 1867 it flourished as a textile centre of the sericultural region in the northern Kanto Plain. It has maintained its traditional fibre industry and added the manufacture of synthetic fibres. Its other manufactures include metal products and machinery. In the southern, rural part of the city, flowers, strawberries, tomatoes, and cucumbers are raised for shipment to Osaka
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