Name and History of Asagaya
The name of "Asagaya"
The name of Asagaya comes from "shallow valley"(Asai Tani in Japanese) along the Momozono river where this region was located. Later it was written Asakaya in Hirakana (cursive form of Japanese syllabary). According to old writings, Shogun's vassal named Asagaya-Uji governed the region around the 14 century.
Until the 1920s it had been called Asagaya village with a lot of rice paddies, and sometimes Japanese Tanukis and foxes surprised people. It had been called "Asagaya village" until 1932 when the Tokyo government compiled all villages there into Suginami Ward.
Writers' Village in Asagaya (Asagaya Bunshi Mura)
Writers' Party
Writers' Party
After the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923, a lot of people moved from the eastern part of the city called downtown Tokyo. The only reason they moved here was said to be the cheap rents.
Among them there were some novelists such as Tekkan and Akiko Yosano, Torahiko Tamiya, Osamu Dazai, Ashihei Hino, Masuji Ibuse, etc. who were still poor and not yet so famous.
Asagaya and Sumo
In 1958 there was a very exciting and happy occasion when the first Wakanohana won the emperor's cup in the Grand Sumo Tournament. At that time he was a poor and lonely Sumotori renting a room in the Sumo stable of Nippon university in Asagaya, the image of which was far from Ryogoku Kokugikan ( The Sumo Stadium at Ryogoku). All the people in Asagaya supported him proudly and enthusiastically.
Futagoyama Stable which was located Narita-Higashi moved to Nakano, and merged into Fujishima Stable there.
There are two Sumo Stables in Asagaya, one is Hanarekoma Stable in Asagaya-Minami 2-chome, the other is the Sumo Club Stable of Nippon University in Asagaya-Minami 3-chome. Sometimes we can see big Sumotoris around Asagaya. At the time of Asagaya Center Festival in February, they take an active part in the Mochituki (rice cake making by using Japanese old tools) giving people a wonderful time.
Sumo Stable at Minami-Asagaya 3-chome
Sumo Stable at Minami-Asagaya 3-chome
The name of "Mabasi"
Mabasi ("ma" means a horse and "hashi" means a bridge) was named after the following fact; There was a bridge across a small river near Ome Street. The bridge was so small that a horse was able to cross the bridge with one walk. The name of the bridge became the name of the village. Now it is the name of the town.
History of Asagaya
1869The horse coach ran between Tanashi and Shinjuku.
1875Suginami Dai-ichi elementary school was founded in 1875. It is one of the oldest elementary schools in Tokyo. It already celebrated the 120th anniversary in 1996.
1889Kobu railway (now called Chuo line) started to run between Shinjuku and Tachikawa. Originally it was planned to be built along the Koshu Road, but the residents there who operated inns opposed the construction of the line, because the railroads gave them a lot of nuisance, such as huge noise, harm to their animals or farming products, sometimes even fires broke out due to the flame coming from chimneys of steam engines.
1891Ogikubo station was opened.
1922Koenji, Asagaya and Nishiogi Stations were opened.
1952Nakasugi Street from the south exit of Asagaya Sta. to the Ome Kaido was built and zelkova trees(Keyaki) were planted along Nakasugi Street by shop owners living near there.
1954Asagaya Tanabata Festival in Pearl Center started.
1962Minami-Asagaya Subway Station was opened.
1966Chuo Line was elevated with a four-track line running.
1971 Mar.North Nakasugi Street started being widened and well maintained with a lot of zelkova(keyaki) and cherry trees. As a result the infamous bus line which was widely known for its thrilled driving in the narrow old Nakasugi Street was greatly improved.
1981 Mar.The formal opening of the Northside of Nakasugi Street.
1985 Jun.Asagaya Community Hall was opened.
1993 Feb.Asagaya Library was opened.
1993 Aug.Asagaya Branch Office of Suginami Ward Office was moved to the present place and opened.