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Nakai Hideo was born in Tokyo in 1922. He was a tanka poet and a novelist. Along with Oguri Mushitarō’s Murder at Black Death Manor (1935) and Yumeno Kyūsaku’s Dogra Magra (1935), Nakai’s An Offering to Nothingness (1964) is considered one of Japan’s three great novels of the bizarre. Nakai affiliated with several prominent decadent authors, including Mishima Yukio and Shibusawa Tatsuhiko. As an editor, he mentored a number of poets, among them Tsukamoto Kunio and Terayama Shūji. “Underground City” (Chikagai) was published as a chapter in Nakai’s 1972 novel Roses in Exile (Gensō hakubutsukan). Nakai died in 1993.