is the largest city in the Chūbu region of Japan. It is the third-largest incorporated city and the fourth most populous urban area. It is 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, 2.27 million people lived in the city, part of Chūkyō Metropolitan Area's 8.74 million people.
The city's name was historically written as 那古野 or 名護屋 (both read as Nagoya). One possible origin is the adjective , meaning 'peaceful'. 
The name Chūkyō (中京, consisting of chū (middle) + kyō (capital)) is also used to refer to Nagoya. Notable examples of the use of the name Chūkyō include the Chūkyō Industrial Area, Chūkyō Metropolitan Area, Chūkyō Television Broadcasting, Chukyo University and the Chukyo Racecourse.
Oda Nobunaga and his protégés Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Tokugawa Ieyasu were powerful warlords based in the Nagoya area who gradually succeeded in unifying Japan. In 1610, Tokugawa Ieyasu moved the capital of Owari Province from Kiyosu, about seven kilometers away, to a more strategic location in present-day Nagoya.
During this period Nagoya Castle was constructed, built partly from materials taken from Kiyosu Castle. During the construction, the entire town around Kiyosu Castle, consisting of around 60,000 people, moved from Kiyosu to the newly planned town around Nagoya Castle. Around the same time, the nearby ancient Atsuta Shrine was designated as a , called Miya (the Shrine), on the important Tōkaidō road, which linked the two capitals of Kyoto and Edo (now Tokyo). A town developed around the temple to support travelers. The castle and shrine towns formed the city.
Nagoya became an industrial hub for the region. Its economic sphere included the famous pottery towns of Tokoname, Tajimi and Seto, as well as Okazaki, one of the only places where gunpowder was produced under the shogunate. Other industries included cotton and complex mechanical dolls called karakuri ningyō.
During the Meiji Restoration Japan's provinces were restructured into prefectures and the government changed from family to bureaucratic rule. 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 US air raids during World War II. The population of Nagoya at this time was estimated to be 1.5 million, third among Japanese cities and one of the three largest centers of the Japanese aircraft industry. It was estimated that 25% of its workers were engaged in 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 they produced between 40% and 50% of Japanese combat aircraft and engines. The Nagoya area also produced machine tools, bearings, railway equipment, metal alloys, tanks, motor vehicles and processed foods during World War II.
Air raids began 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 continued through the spring of 1945, and included large-scale firebombing. Nagoya was the target of two of Bomber Command’s attacks. These incendiary attacks, one by day and one by night, 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. It also destroyed or damaged twenty-eight of the numbered targets and raised the area burned to almost one-fourth of the entire city. 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.