ホーム > くらし > 国際交流 > About Ashiya City/芦屋市について > A Brief History of Ashiya/ 芦屋市の歴史



A Brief History of Ashiya/ 芦屋市の歴史

Blessed with a wondrous natural environment and a moderate climate, Ashiya has been a prime residential area since ancient times.
It is also surrounded by the Rokko mountains to the north and Osaka Bay to the south, adding to the beautiful scenery of Japan’s four seasons.
In the literature of the Heian Period (794-1191), Ashiya was mentioned in connection with Prince Abo and his son Narihira Ariwara, a famous poet, and thereby earned respect and esteem from members of the imperial court. Therefore, Ashiya often appeared not only in the Manyousyu, the oldest Tanka Poetry collections in the world, and Isemonogatari, a collection of one hundred twenty-five stories, but also other Japanese classic literature. 
During the Kamakura Period (1192-1333), this normally peaceful area was exposed to the horrors of war.
Under this vortex of wars, people in Ashiya banded together against their enemies. Thus, at the end of the Sengoku Period (1491-1573), four villages, Uchide, Ashiya, Sanjo, and Tsuji were formed.
After the Meiji Restoration in 1889, the first modern constitution was promulgated in Japan. The four villages, Uchide, Ashiya, Sanjo, and Tsuji were consolidated into one village, which was named Seido. The name Seido was taken from the name of a school called Seido Elementary School.
On November 10, 1940, the fully developed village became the 173rd city in Japan (there are about 670 cities now).
The well-known name of an area of Seido Village, “Ashiya,” was adopted as the name of the city. In 1951, the Japanese government proclaimed the “Ashiya International Cultural Residential City Construction Act” to promote the city as an international culturally diversified city. This act has drawn a great deal of interest to the planning and development of the city.
“The Great Hanshin-Awaji earthquake” that struck southern Hyogo Prefecture on January 17th, 1995, wreaked destruction on Ashiya, resulting in the highest damage rate in the Hanshin area. We lost the precious lives of 444 people, and 92.5% of all residences were damaged, shaking the foundation we had built up over such a long time as a residential city. For following eight years, we gave priority to restoration and recovery, and promoted the installation of basic utilities, street maintenance of each district, restoration of the parks and sports grounds, and construction of the Minami Ashiya Hama Disaster Recovery Public Housing.
In 2004, the Ashiya City Mayor issued a proclamation naming our city “Ashiya Garden City,” with the aim to make Ashiya “the city, everyone in the world would like to visit once in his/her life” – a city full of flowers in a beautiful natural environment.
Now, we are striving as one to help the city fully recover, in order to create a cosmopolitan atmosphere that will continue throughout the 21st century.













                      Ariwara no Narihira                                         Ashiya City Hall