It was confirmed today that underground Japanese beatmaker Jun “Nujabes” Seba died last February 26 after a car accident. His family buried him privately and the anouncement of his death did not make the news until today.

Nujabes was known for delicate, often mournful beats that were respected by lovers of quality hip-hop worldwide. He also owned record stores in Tokyo's trend-setting Shibuya district, including the well-known Guiness Records and T Records.

There's a great reminiscence on the DJ Premier blog, written by “gimantalon,” that reflects the affection of the US underground fraternity for their Japanese counterpart:

Damn, I was such a big fan of the man. Not only his music, but his character too. I remember when a hip hop fan got back from Japan they always asked him if he went to his record shop and took pictures of it and if they met Nujabes himself. Because it was so rarely to see him on image, he communicates with music like no one else did. His vinyl were always hard to get for non Japan heads, it was crazy how they were sold. The underground world really recognized him and always will, no doubt about it. He was one of the best hip hop producer of Japan and that is what he will always be remembered for, R.I.P. my friend, we'll miss you. 2010, damn…

More from the DJ Premier blog, after the jump.

More from the DJ Premier blog (go there for some video samples of Nujabes' talent):

Nujabes (born Jun Seba), a Japanese hip-hop producer, was killed in a car accident in Tokyo. Nujabes crashed when leaving the Metropolitan Expressway in Tokyo's Minato Ward. Nujabes was 36 years old when he died. The car crash that killed Nujabes took place on February 26, 2010, the same day a magnitude 7.3 earthquake struck off the coast of Japan. Nujabes' death was only publicly confirmed by Hydeout Productions and by his friend and collaborator, Shing02, today; he was buried by his family in a private ceremony. Nujabes was the founder of Hydeout Productions, as well as the owner of two Tokyo record stores, Guinness Records and T Records. Nujabes (who came by his artistic name by spelling his real name backwards) also contributed music to the anime “Samurai Champloo”, an anachronistic tale mixing samurai lore and modern hip-hop culture. Nujabes was a private person, and so many, even those who worked closely with him, did not know he had died. The common Internet death rumors did not make it to the English-speaking web, and this is a rare case in which an artist's actual death notice preceded the rumors.

LA Weekly