Soft Focus: A Photo-Documentation of Kyoto’s Showa-Kataitagarasu

Showa-Kataitagarasu (昭和型板ガラス) was a type of frosted glass that featured different textures and designs embedded within. Offering light, privacy, as well as an element of design, they were popularly used in exterior-facing windows but also in interior cabinetry. The glass was largely produced during Japan’s Showa period and, true to its name, is now a relic of another era.

During a stint in Kyoto, designer, researcher and educator Eloise Rapp stumbled upon the glass. “I was fascinated by the interplay of glass textures with the diffused color and form of the objects behind,” explains Rapp. “I started keeping my camera on me so I could capture these unexpectedly endearing domestic compositions as they were likely to shift, change or completely disappear even the next day. “

The designer compiled her photos into a collection titled Soft Focus, that documents the beauty of suburban Kyoto through it’s own privacy glass. You can see the entire collection here.


  1. Never thought that shooting with the glass had this much effect on the image. Great series of photos !!

  2. jaiprakash ahlawat

    June 3, 2019 at 7:41 am

    Inspiring ideas from your website are pure sharing of love…

  3. Documenting blurred glass is a nice idea, but I’ve seen more variety and prettier styles in my native Vienna.

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