Nagoya's cultural history and modern history are both quite rich. It began in twelfth Century as the residence of a local noble. Three important local figures brought prominence by seeking to unite Japan under a single rule. The Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu succeeded in this endeavor and made Nagoya the capital of the Owari Province. The castle was built, and 60,000 people moved into town all at once. For the next few centuries, it was an important cultural and political centre.
During and after the Meiji restoration the city was industrialized heavily - pottery, gun-powder, aircraft and cotton. During WWII, the city produced 50% of Japanese aircraft and engines. During Allied bombing, a lot of the city's precious cultural heritage was lost, though much of it has since been rebuilt.
Today it is one of Japan's largest and most populated cities; with almost ten million people living in the metropolitan area. It is home to Japan's automotive giants - Toyota, Honda, Mitsubishi Motors - and other Japanese heavyweight corporations. There are a surprising number of Japanese-descent Brazilian immigrants.