Except for the Gaoshan ethnic group, the aborigines of Taiwan, the inhabitants of Taiwan are the descendants of immigrants from the Chinese mainland. Settlement proceeded from the area around Taiwan, in the south, northward and from the coast inland. From the latter Ming dynasty (early 17th century), until it was occupied by the Japanese in 1895, Taiwan was both the largest city and the capital of Taiwan. The population is so predominantly Chinese, most of whom are the descendants of immigrants from the southeastern Chinese provinces of Fujian and Guangdong; in addition, after the Kuomingtang fled to the island in 1949, there was a sizable immigration from other parts of China.