The earliest human settlers in the
archipelago may be dated back to roughly 30,000 BCE. The Yayoi countries follow the Jmon era, which was known for its cord-marked pottery, in the first millennium BCE, when new technologies from Asia were introduced. The earliest documented written mention to
was documented during this period in the Chinese Book of Han in the first century CE.
The Yayoi people from the continent emigrated to the Japanese archipelago about the 4th century BCE, bringing with them iron technology and agricultural civilization. The Yayoi people began to exceed the Jmon individuals, who were hunter-gatherers from the Japanese archipelago since they had built an agricultural culture.
multiple kingdoms and tribes eventually came to be consolidated under a centralized administration, supposedly governed by the Emperor of Japan, between the fourth and ninth centuries.
The imperial dynasty that arose during this time is still in existence today, albeit in a mostly ceremonial function. The Heian period started in 794 with the foundation of a new imperial capital at Heian-ky (modern-day Kyoto) and lasted until 1185. The Heian age is seen as the pinnacle of Japanese
. From this point on, Japanese religious life was a blend of local Shinto customs and Buddhism.