Changsha (长沙; Chángshā) is the capital of Hunan Province.
In the first millenium BC, it was an urban centre in the state of Chu. In the centuries following, Changsha was often in a state of contention, sometimes incorporated into Han China proper, and at other times heading an independent state. Mao Zedong started his political career here, as a newly-arrived country boy from the nearby village of Shaoshancong. During World War II, it was the first major city that was successfully defended by the Chinese from the Japanese invasion. The Xiangjiang river runs through Changsha.