::::: The Red Snakes :::::

The Red Snakes

What is a Red Snake
or why do we call ourselves the "Red Snakes"? Some time ago, when Mr. Aso was still living in Japan, he and a group of friends decided to do something really crazy which was to float down the entire Mogami River by boat. This was their first river trip experience and it was a tough one. They needed some motto, something to raise their spirits. This is how the red snake name started. It became the name of their first boat and later the name of our adventure/marathon team. "A red snake is a creature that is very difficult to weaken or kill; they have strong desire and strong life energy. This idea gives us strength when we face difficulty during our marathons, or during our river trips..."


The Red Snakes and the Boston Marathon
The Red Snakes ran the Boston Marathon as a team since the 1970s. In his lifetime Mr. Aso himself completed 39 consecutive Boston Marathons. The team trains during the coldest and most severe months in Boston so that we can survive the Boston Marathon and enjoy the New England Spring season. For years many of the Red Snakes ran the Boston Marathon from the back of the pack as unqualified runners. We are not ashamed to be known as slow runners in Boston because there is great camaraderie among runners. One year in 1976 Jack Fultz, a friend of Kaji Aso Studio runners, won the Boston marathon- so not all of us are slow all the time. We run the Boston marathon for several reasons - one is for fitness; another is because of the spirit of the race and the appreciation of the fans; and another reason is that after finishing the Boston Marathon beer tastes sooooo good. That is why we run. We do other things too to contribute to the race. When the marathon officials start to dismantle the finish line. there are still some runners crossing the finish line, some with no fans or support. So, the Red Snakes cheer them on and hand out special certificates that give some recognition to their huge achievement. Needless to say, we make a lot of friends at the finish line.


Whale Spotting
Red Snake Certificate 2005

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Mr. Aso paddling down the Tagus River of Spain

Mr Aso Kayaks the Taho River Spain

I am often asked by people, “Why do you do river trip?” I do not have an exact answer for them. I cannot quite explain it, because there is no particular purpose. If someone were explaining about mountain climbing, the goal would be to reach to the top. If it were boxing, it would be to hit the other person as much as one could until the other is knocked out. With river trip perhaps the purpose is to go down a river from beginning to end without stopping. Still there are many ways to travel a river, and there is no way to say which is more perfect. In fact there is no winning or being defeated, unless you die. River trip is not a game, even if it is a sport. The purpose of river trip is that a person who loves river goes down the river while dipping the body into the water. For a person who loves river trip there is no greater hedonism than dipping their body into the river. And traveling down while being rocked by waves.

Whale Spotting

Mississippi River 1983

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The Seine

 

 

Whale SpottingThe Seine River France 1987
The Red Snakes, an artist team from Kaji Aso Studio, have successfully organized and completed a series of river trips that combine adventure with art. Upon their return to Boston, they exhibited their works on these river trip themes.

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The Volga

 

Mr. Aso at the start of the VolgaThe Volga River 1989
The Red Snakes, an artist team from Kaji Aso Studio, have successfully organized and completed a series of river trips that combine adventure with art. Upon their return to Boston, they exhibited their works on these river trip themes.

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The Nile River

 

Mr. Aso at the start of the VolgaThe Nile River 1993
The Red Snakes, an artist team from Kaji Aso Studio, have successfully organized and completed a series of river trips that combine adventure with art. Upon their return to Boston, they exhibited their works on these river trip themes.

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