"Shou Sugi Ban is a Japanese technique for preserving and finishing wood by charring it with fire. The treatment — which leaves behind a dense, carbonized layer of blackness. It’s a counterintuitive but ingenious idea: heating wood to render it fireproof. If you’ve ever tried to rekindle a campfire using burnt logs, you get the idea. The combustion also neutralizes the cellulose in the wood — the carbohydrates that termites, fungus and bacteria love — making it undesirable to pests and resistant to rot. The resulting charcoal layer repels water and prevents sun damage as well. By some estimates, boards that have undergone this process can last 80 years or more."
-Amanda Fortini, T Magazine - Sept 19, 2017