Japan’s history dates back to prehistoric times, but it wasn’t until the 8th century that Japan’s first permanent capital, Nara, was established. The country then underwent a long period of feudal rule, with powerful warlords known as shoguns ruling various parts of the country. In 1868, the Meiji Restoration brought about the end of the shogunate and the beginning of modernization and westernization efforts. Japan rapidly modernized, became a major imperial power, and engaged in wars with China and Russia. In the aftermath of World War II, Japan was occupied by Allied forces and eventually emerged as a major economic power in the latter half of the 20th century. Today, Japan is known for its advanced technology, unique culture, and strong economy.