The latest great shinobi war was brought to a conclusion thirty years ago, ending with the creation of a relative balance of power between the five great shinobi nations.
The Land of Grass however, was one of the minor nations, and ended up on the losing side of the war. Forced to make an unfavorable peace settlement, they were used as a bargaining chip by the great nations, and subjected to punishing reparations.
The country, already devastated in the war, looked like it would collapse and never rise as a shinobi nation again, but the daimyo of the region instituted a dramatic reformation system in the postwar environment.
The shinobi were downsized, and instead of feebly trying to continue to compete in the shinobi mission system, and the country of Grass instead focused heavily on internal renovation and restoration of their infrastructure. Agriculture had always been a strong point of the Grass Nation. While they fielded little in the precious metals and commodities that some of the other shinobi nations could claim, Kusa had an unusually high concentration of chakra energy permeating the air and lands. Perhaps it was the ancient bamboo forests that flourished with life, or maybe it was in perfect alignment with the heavens… Either way, the postwar period saw hardship, but also advancement.
The reparations placed on the Land of Grass were largely in foodstuffs. Being the bread-bowl of the ninja world (and in a location to facilitate ease of transportation to all countries alike), Kusa was forced in many ways to improve their agriculture at the expense of their ninja. Though the reparations of the third great war have ended, the Grass Nation still pays a kind of 'tribute' to some of the great nations, though now they also can sell their foodstuffs on the market.
The Land of Grass is a vibrantly alive country. Named after the fertile fields and valleys, 'Grass' may be a bit of a misnomer… Certainly there are plenty of grasslands in it's surrounding area - perfect for livestock raising as well as agriculture, but it is the terraced valleys and ancient bamboo forests that are the truly awe-inspiring aspects of this country. The bamboo forests, having grown there since the ancient times, are very rarely populated, and many of them are considered sacred. These ancient sites are rich in chakra and full of all sorts of plant and animal life. The grasslands are also famous for their flowers and spring blossoms - the whole country is awash in colors with the passing of the Yayoi and Uzuki rainstorms.
It's a pleasant place in appearance, and well recovered from the brutal scars that fire and war had brought three decades before, though the population is still small. Diplomacy is the current daimyo's desire. If it can forge the proper alliances to negate the strategic weakness of this small nation, and maneuver it's already generous helping of the world's food market to increase it's military might, Grass could prove to rise once again.
The intense internal focus on infrastructure has caused dramatic changes for the ninja life in Kusa. The traditions of old are preserved and continued, but no longer does the country fully embrace it's ninja heritage. This has left the older generation of ninja frustrated and isolated, seeing their country's policy as a pill that is almost too bitter to swallow. To some, it has, but others chaff under the system, feeling their hands tied and powerless to actually do anything for their country. The younger generation of ninja is the exact opposite however. They haven't seen most of the hardship their parents went through, and though they have heard the stories and learned the history, there is a certain optimism, if not restlessness in the youth. Change is coming, and they can feel it in the air.
Many of the grass ninja are in some way familiar with jutsu involving plants - whether this be through genjutsu, ninjutsu, or taijutsu depends on the particular ninja. Due to the intense concentration of chakra energy, long term exposure through food and the environment have given the Kusa-nin a slight edge in chakra manipulation. They are, in a sense, a little closer to the elements around them, and so have an easier time interacting with it. Kusa-nin are also naturally quite healthy - they have a good and rich diet, and so many also possess an enduring natural stamina, and rich silky hair. They are generally at home in the forests and plains, and many are born during the auspicious spring months.