is the largest city in the Chūbu region of Japan. It is the third-largest incorporated city and the fourth most populous urban area in Japan. Located on the Pacific coast on central Honshu, it is the capital of Aichi Prefecture and is one of Japan's major ports along with those of Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe, Yokohama, Chiba, and Kitakyushu. It is also the center of Japan's third largest metropolitan region, known as the Chūkyō Metropolitan Area. As of 2000, Chūkyō Metropolitan Area has 8.74 million people, of which 2.27 million live in the city of Nagoya.
The city's name was historically written as 那古野 or 名護屋 (both read as Nagoya). One possible etymology for the city's name is the adjective , meaning 'peaceful'. 
The name Chūkyō (中京) is also used (chū (middle) + kyō (capital)), since it is the main city of the central Chūbu region. Various things are named after Chūkyō, for example the Chūkyō Industrial Area, Chūkyō Metropolitan Area, Chūkyō Television Broadcasting, Chukyo University and the Chukyo Racecourse.
(The Japanese names in this section are written with the family name first. For example, in the name Oda Nobunaga, the family name is Oda.)
In 1610, Tokugawa Ieyasu moved the capital of Owari Province from Kiyosu around seven kilometers to a more strategic location in present-day Nagoya.
Nagoya Castle, a new, large castle, was constructed partly from materials taken from Kiyosu Castle During the construction, the entire town of around 60,000 people, including the temples and shrines, moved from Kiyosu to the new, planned town around Nagoya Castle. Around the same time not far away, the ancient Atsuta Shrine was designated as a way station called Miya (the Shrine) on the important Tōkaidō, a road that linked the two capitals of Kyoto and Edo (now Tokyo). A town thus developed around the temple to support travelers. The combination of these two castle and shrine towns forms what we now call Nagoya.
Through the following years Nagoya became an industrial hub for the surrounding region. Its economic sphere included the famous pottery towns Tokoname, Tajimi and Seto, as well as Okazaki, one of the only places where gunpowder was produced under the shogunate. Other industries in the area included cotton and complex mechanical dolls called karakuri ningyō.
Part of the modernization efforts of the Meiji Restoration saw a restructuring of Japan's provinces into prefectures and the government changed from family rule to that by government officials. Nagoya was proclaimed a city on October 1, 1889, and designated a city on September 1, 1956 by government ordinance.
World War II and modern era
Nagoya was the target of U.S. air raids during World War II, beginning on April 18, 1942, with an attack on a Mitsubishi Aircraft Works, the Matsuhigecho oil warehouse, the Nagoya Castle military barracks, and the Nagoya war industries plant. The bombing of Nagoya in World War II continued through the spring of 1945, and included large scale firebombing. Nagoya Castle, which was being used as a military command post, was hit and mostly destroyed on May 14, 1945. Reconstruction of the main building was completed in 1959.
In 1959, the city was flooded and severely damaged by the Ise-wan Typhoon.
Why Nagoya was a target in World War II
The population of Nagoya was estimated to be 1,500,000 ranking third among Japanese cities, and it was one of the three largest centers of the Japanese aircraft industry. It was estimated that 25% of all its workers are engaged in some phase of aircraft production. Important Japanese aircraft targets (numbers 193,194,198, 2010, and 1729) were within the city itself, while others (notably 240 and 1833) were to the north of Kagamigahara. It was estimated that the above-mentioned units produced between 40% and 50% of the total output of Japanese combat aircraft and combat aircraft engines. The Nagoya area also produced machine tools, bearings, railway equipment, metal alloys, tanks, motor vehicles, and processed foods during World War II.
Nagoya was the target for two of the Bomber Command’s attacks. Two incendiary attacks, one by day and one by night, left of the city devastated. The XXI Bomber Command established a new U.S. Army Air Force record with the greatest tonnage ever released on a single target in one mission—3,162 tons of incendiaries on Nagoya. It also destroyed or damaged twenty-eight of the numbered targets and raised the total area burned to almost one-fourth of the entire city.