Shou Sugi Ban - The Art of Charring Cedar
Shou Sugi Ban 焼杉板 (or yakisugi-ita) is the Japanese art of charring cedar. It was traditionally used as a way of preserving Japanese cedar for exterior siding, but Sato Restaurant Group is using it as a bold accent for interiors as well. Josh saw many of this type of charred, or antiqued, cedar on buildings in Okayama prefecture, especially in Kurashiki where it has been up-kept ver nicely. He always wanted to bring this bold element of Japanese aesthetics inside the restaurant to create a wabi-sabi type of atmosphere.
Below you can see Josh doing 2 methods of charring. First, the traditional method of tying 3 planks together and burning them equally on each side:
As well the modern more precise approach of spot blowtorching the wood where you can control the temperature better:
Charring the wood helps it to resist fire, insects, rotting, and overall looks great for close to 100 years. Currently Sato Restaurant Group is working on charring a variety of sizes of wood for an upcoming new restaurant.