Exhibition spotlights Shoichi Kagawa, caretaker and gardener for Paul Shoup

By December 20, 2022February 4th, 2023In The News

Town Crier Report/Los Altos Town Crier

The new permanent exhibition being installed at the Los Altos History Museum features several notable residents from the early days (pre-1950) of the community.

The exhibition, “Making Connections: Stories from the Land,” spotlights people from across four sections of the display: Leland Smith (the town), Mary Golda Ross (the valley), Rose Marie Taaffe (the hills) and Shoichi Kagawa (the creeks). This article focuses on Kagawa.

Kagawa arrived in San Francisco in 1905 from Japan by way of Hawaii. He worked various jobs, learned English and eventually settled in Los Altos, where he became caretaker for the Paul Shoup estate circa 1913. Shoup, considered by some as the founder of Los Altos, was a Southern Pacific railroad executive who established a train stop and developed homes.

Kagawa saved money so that his wife, Natsuyo, could join him from Japan in 1918. He resided on the Shoup estate for 30 years before being forced to live in a Japanese-American internment camp during World War II. A museum oral history described Kagawa…cont.

Shoichi Kagawa, his wife Natsuyo and 5 children on the porch of the Paul Shoup House [3 daughters: Masako, Fumiko, and Yoneko and 2 sons: Isamu (Doug) and Tadashi (Tad)]