According to the Highlander: The Final Dimension screenplay, Nakano (also referred to as "the Sorceror Nakano") was born in Japan in 926 B.C., and later studied Buddhism under Nichiren during the eleventh century A.D.
He experienced his First Death in 865 B.C., and eventually became a highly sought-after teacher, instructing mortal and Immortal alike in the power of Illusion, but this also had the unfortunate effect of making him a tempting target to those who would seek to gain the secrets of his power.
Nakano came to live in a cave beneath the Mountain of Niri in Japan. He had the reputation of a master of Illusion, and many of his students themselves went on to become great teachers in their own right. Among his earlier pupils were the Immortals Juan Sanchez Villa-Lobos Ramirez and Kane.
Around the year 1605, Nakano was working with his newest student, Connor MacLeod, when Connor's training with Nakano was interrupted by Kane and his henchmen, who had discovered the location of the hidden cave. Nakano realized someone had found him, and sent MacLeod away before Kane breached the cave, saying, "This is not your time, Highlander."
Kane inflicted a beating upon Nakano to find out where the Highlander had gone, when Connor sprang at him, impaling himself on Kane's sword. Nakano, however stopped Kane from taking MacLeod's head, and imposed himself between the two, enabling Connor's escape.
Ultimately, Kane defeated Nakano, but Nakano had the final laugh, in the form of his Quickening serving to collapse the entire mountain upon Kane and his henchmen. His powers of Illusion would pass onto Kane as a result, but in a final burst of insight, however, Nakano prophesied that Kane would never become the final Immortal remaining in The Game.
Nakano was well versed in swordsmanship, unarmed combat, and the Japanese art of sword-making. He was also able to project psychic images into the mind of his opponents, in order to sow confusion. This power was taught to his other pupils, both good and evil.