You'll want to take a closer look at this wood cabin building project that was a single-family new construction timber frame by Collin Beggs Design Build featuring Collin’s characteristic design style of following the grain on braces and using natural building materials from top to bottom. Nakamoto Forestry is the largest manufacturer of Yakisugi/Shou Sugi Ban in the world and distributes mill to job sites within North America from inventory in Portland, Oregon. The four mills in Hiroshima and Tokushima operate custom automated lines to produce high-grade and affordable Shou Sugi Ban siding. In Japan they have owned and managed timberlands for several decades, using the logs the harvest teams bring in to mill the most consistent Yakisugi available anywhere. They would like the international community to appreciate that Japan has always had a large domestic forestry industry focused on quality, value, and sustainability.
Shou Sugi Ban/Yakisugi. The Japanese craft of Yakisugi is due to a botched translation and is mistakenly called Shou Sugi Ban in the West. This technique has been used for hundreds of years in Japan and is growing in popularity around the world. Shou Sugi Ban, which is also known as Yakisugi, is a decorative and architectural wood-burning technique that has been used for hundreds of years in Japan. This traditional Japanese wood preservation method involves voluntarily charring the wood to create a textural surface that is beautiful to look at, and that offers practical advantages when executed correctly. The technique can be used as a treatment on outdoor architectural elements such as wood siding, as well as indoors on walls and furniture. The aesthetic qualities of Shou Sugi Ban/Yakisugi have inspired a revived interest in the wood-charring technique in recent years, which has become a prominent trend in architecture and interior design around the world.
The Origins of Shou Sugi Ban (Yakisugi). Shou Sugi Ban (or Yakisugi, as it is known in Japan) means burned cedar. It is an 18th-century Japanese wood-burning technique that creates an intriguing charred appearance that highlights natural wood veining, creates textural interest, and varies in appearance according to how much fire is applied and which type of wood is used. Japanese Cypress is considered the gold standard for Shou Sugi Ban purists, although other wood types can be used to varying degrees of success. The act of charring wood doesn’t make the wood structurally weaker but magically has the opposite effect.
Burning the surface of the wood under controlled conditions fortifies and protects the wood against future damage, making it an excellent preservation technique. The use of Shou Sugi Ban/Yakisugi in traditional Japanese architectural design predates the practice of using chemicals to protect wood siding. Achieving Shou Sugi Ban involves a process that includes carefully selecting virgin wood that is cut into planks, dried in the sun or open air, burned on the surface to create a thin layer of char, then brushed and sealed with oil. This process can be done manually by everyone from master craftsmen to DIY enthusiasts, or by using machine automation.