Jorōgumo 絡新婦 Spider Woman Yokai
Jorōgumo 絡新婦 The Spider Woman, one of the best known yokai in Japanese folklore, appears in the tales and chronicles of Japan from the Edo period. A creature that has always had a particular charm because of its stories.
Yokai creatures such as monsters, demons, spirits, or "goblins" have been part of Japanese stories and folklore for hundreds of years and have evolved and adapted to modern times and society, transforming and finding space even in entertainment with films and anime .
Jorōgumo 絡 新婦 is among the most present figures in Japanese history, so much that it appears on many stories dating back to the Edo period. Many works such as paintings or novellas often see him present, or it would be better to use the feminine as her figure is linked to a woman.
We can find elements of the legend of Jorōgumo throughout Japan, with the exception of Hokkaido, this seems to have a connection with real elements, linked to two species of spider, Nephila and Argione (also called golden spiders) that are widespread throughout the Japanese territory precisely except in Hokkaido. These spiders, especially the nephilia, have a strong connection with the yokai of the stories because of its nature. Long legs, a long gold-colored body that weaves large and resistant canvases, but above all its "ferocity" in killing its partner.
These spiders are real creatures but according to the legends when these creatures live a few hundred years they undergo a change in their habits and change into a being that no longer eats the insects left in their web, but begins to feed on human beings.Just like its royal correspondent, the Jorōgumo lives a solitary life and nests in caves, forests or empty houses in the cities, where it takes possession of them and becomes their dens. They are very intelligent and ruthless creatures and for them human beings are nothing but food. In order to drive us out, they have become skilled deceivers, capable of changing their appearance, appearing in most cases with the appearance of young women, sexy and incredibly beautiful.
The change in appearance helps them attract their favorite prey, that are, young, good-looking men that are looking for love or adventures. When she has spotted her prey she invites he to her home by tricking and immobilizing her with the threads of his canvas that are extremely strong. Once blocked it is over because she injects a poison that stuns it and at the same time facilitates its ingestion (just like spiders). Jorōgumo possess the ability to control other spiders (especially fire retardant ones) that they use for their hunting and protection purposes.
Jorōgumo have been part of Japan's culture for hundreds of years now, but in the last few decades we have found them more and more often in visual works such as films and especially in anime. Their presence in the series is full-bodied, we find them in the classic ones on the horror vein, others related to superstition and folklore, and others still generally lighter as parodies or funny and certainly not terrifying figures.