While modern dagashi developed after World War 2, dagashi has been around since the Edo period (1603-1868), though the region of origin is unknown.
“Dagashi”, made from starch or corn, was the commoner equivalent of the more expensive “jōgashi”, which was of higher quality and made from white sugar. Modern dagashi experienced its greatest popularity from the 1950s to the early 1980s in Japan when dagashiyas were common and a staple after-school hangout spot for younger students.
However, in the early to mid- 1980s, dagashiya stores began to diversify their products or were replaced by convenience stores. As of 2016, dagashi can still be found in the occasional dagashiya or ordered online. Culture expos in Japan (especially for schools) sometimes include dagashi and dagashiya displays.