In the year 710, the first permanent Japanese capital was established in Nara, a city modelled after the Chinese capital. Large Buddhist monasteries were built in the new capital. The monasteries quickly gained such strong political influence that, in order to protect the position of the emperor and central government, the capital was moved to Nagaoka in 784, and finally to Heian (Kyoto) in 794 where it should remain for over one thousand years.
One characteristic of the Nara and Heian periods is a gradual decline of Chinese influence, which, nevertheless, remained strong. Many of the imported ideas were gradually "Japanized". In order to meet particular Japanese needs, several governmental offices were established in addition to the government system, which was copied after the Chinese model, for example. In the arts too, native Japanese movements became increasingly popular. The development of the Kana syllables made the creation of actual Japanese literature po...