“Shou Sugi Ban (burned cypress) is a traditional Japanese technique in which coniferous wood is burned at one side. Traditionally, this was done by binding three boards together to a chimney and starting a fire at the bottom. The original reason for burning was, ironically, fire prevention. Japanese houses were mostly made of wood, and inhabitants of the villages and towns they were ap- prehensive of fire. The scorching of the facades created a carbon layer. This beautiful black film also offered good protection against insects and fungus. The houses also no longer had to be painted. The ancient art of Shou Sugi Ban is still being used in Japan today. Not only in traditional buildings, but also in modern buildings designed by well-known architects such as Terunobu Fujimori.”
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