10 Deadliest Jorōgumo Facts (Spider Woman From Yokai Lore)

Jorōgumo/Jorogumo is a spider yokai, with the form of a giant spider that can shapeshift its appearance into that of a tempting woman. It is undefeatable to any kind of poison and can’t be killed. The name Jorogumo is inspired from the Nephila Clavata real spider as they resemble it greatly. Even when you see it in its human form, its reflection will be like a giant deadly spider.

There are many mythical spiders in the yokai world, or supernatural spiders in Japanese folktales, including the Jorō-gumo. It’s more commonly known in English as the Golden Orb Weaver and it is found all over Japan, excluding Hokkaido.

1 Jorogumo Belongs From Izu city of Honshu, Japan

Jorōgumo spider yokai

Jorōgumo is a legendary legend about a spider-woman who was said to live near the Jōren falls. The waterfall is one of the largest in the Izu Peninsula, and it’s generally thought by locals to be this woman’s home. The area around the falls has a rich history that spans across many centuries. It’s known for its wasabi farm and wasabi ice cream, as well as many places where people can learn about traditional Japanese fishing techniques.

2 These Giant Spiders Are Normal In Appearance Until They Get The Powers Or The Title Of Jorogumo

Jorōgumo spider yokai

The average body size for a wolf spider is about 0.8 to 1.2 inches. However, some can grow much larger as they age. These spiders are known for their giant size and their vividly beautiful colors. They’ve also been known to spin large webs that young men have been caught in. Some giant spiders are big enough to catch and prey on small sized birds.

3 Jorogumo Are Also Oftenly Dubbed As Entangling Bride

Jorōgumo spider yokai

According to Japanese legend, their kanji name translates to “entangling bride.” However, Japanese characters were added later to change the original meaning of jorōgumo—”whore spider.”

It is highly likely that they previously existed as part of an oral folklore tradition. The jorō in jorōgumo , translates to prostitute, but is also associated with the word jōrō, which historically referred to the women who waited on female royalty. Also known as the binding bride, whore
spider,entangling bride and harlot spider.

4 In Yokai, When A Spider Turns 400 Years old It Get Magical Powers

Jorōgumo spider yokai

While spiders and their yokai counterparts often lead solitary lives, that’s the reason the Jorō-gumo are one-of-a-kind. As both a spider and a yokai, they live in solitude until they reach 400 years of age. At that point, they acquire magical powers and prey on human beings instead of insects and birds. They create their nests in caves or forests, as well as empty houses in towns.

5 Jorogumo Are Great Trickster And Shapeshifter Creatures

Jorōgumo spider yokai

They are very intelligent and can be cold-hearted. They see humans as mere insects to feed on, and have powerful shapeshifting abilities. They often appear tempting and alluring as beautiful women, but they can employ their intelligence and deceit at any time.

6 They Lure Young Men In Order To Prey On Them

Jorōgumo spider yokai

This shapeshifting creature is unsurprisingly known for her ability to lure handsome men into her clutches by disguising herself as a beautiful woman before using a painful venom to kill her victims slowly. Jorō-gumo is happiest when she gets to prey on young, and good looking men. She’ll begin with an invitation to come into her home, and if he’s foolish enough to take the bait, he’ll never be seen again.

7 They Are Excellent & Fast Web Weaver To Entrape An Adult Man

Jorōgumo Spiders can spin threads at a speed fast enough to entrap a full-grown man. Their venom also slowly weakens their victim, and the spider gets to enjoy the long, painful death her prey suffers every day he lives. If you stumble across a tarantula, she will most likely use her powerful venom to weaken you in small doses.

8 Jorōgumo Controls Other Spiders With Fire Breathing Powers

Jorōgumo spider yokai

Jorō-gumo are powerful spider monsters that can control other spiders and employ them in various ways, including using spiders with fire-breathing abilities to burn the homes of anyone who becomes suspicious of them. They can live this way for countless years, maybe even in the middle of a posh city, where hundreds of dry skeletons build up in their house.

Impressed by her beauty and charm, the men would be enticed into a quiet building. There they would listen to her play the Biwa, which is a lute-like stringed instrument. While they’re distracted by the sound of the instrument she would ensnare them in spider silk threads and devour them as her fresh meal.

9 A Brave Samurai Once Killed A Jorogumo With His Sword

Jorōgumo spider yokai

According to folklore, when spiders lived beyond 400 years, they acquired magical powers. For example, in Edo period literature (such as “Taihei-Hyakumonogatari” and “Tonoigusa”), Jorōgumo shapeshifted its appearance into a beautiful and sexually attractive woman to propose a samurai for marriage or takes the form of a young lady having a baby (which may turn out to be an egg sack from a female spider).

Some of the earliest written stories of the jorogumo come from a 17th-century text. It tells of an old samurai who sought refuge in an abandoned structure strung with spiderwebs. He was approached by a young woman carrying a child who insisted that the man was its father. The man was instantly suspicious since she had traveled alone at night in a remote place, and he deduced that she had been lying about her claim. When the child went to approach him many times, it became impatient, and turned away each time it saw his sword. Irritated and impatient, the man slashed the woman with his blade, who fled to the rafters of the structure.

Next morning, the samurai woke up to discover a giant two-foot long spider painfully struggling. The creature was being attacked and had deep cuts on its back that matched those found on the young woman’s body. The warrior went up to investigate where he found a stone grave, with the statue of a child engraved inside. The samurai looked up to see what had just happened—and there they were: carcasses of all those whom she had deceived with her false claims wrapped in her web!

In the drawings of the book Gazu Hyakki Yakō by Toriyama Sekien, Jorogumo is represented as half-woman/half-spider with hundreds of spider children.

A Jorōgumo is a giant spider that lives near the falls of Izu in Shizuoka. The story tells of a man sleeping at the foot of the falls who was bound by threads of spiders. In order to escape the trap, he cut his surrounding threads and fastened them to a stump. When he pulled on them, the stump pulled from the ground, drawing into the water with it.

10 A Lumberman Who Died In Sleep Because He Didn’t Follow Jorogumo’s Instructions

Jorōgumo spider yokai

Ever since the Jōren Jorōgumo story became known, the villagers stopped going to the Jōren waterfall. That is, until one day when a lumberman, unaware of the story and its consequences, began cutting wood in an area nearby. After he dropped his axe into the water while trying to cut down a tree, the beautiful woman appeared and returned it to him. The logger promised never to tell anyone about what he saw and she disappeared into thin air. However, he was in disbelief and began having trouble sleeping at night. One night after he became drunk and told someone about what happened, he immediately fell asleep for eternity without waking again.

In a variation of the story of the Jo-Ren waterfall, a logger visits the waterfall every single day to see his love, Jorōgumo. But as time passes, he starts weakening and becomes ill. A monk from a neighboring temple speculated the logger has already been trapped by Jorōgumo’s spider webs, so he and the logger go to the falls together. The monk reads someone Buddhist Sūtra there. As he begins to read sutra, spider-made threads appear from the pool and try to wrap themselves around the logger, but are stopped by the monk’s Buddhist chant. Though it is soon revealed that Jorōgumo is also a spider, he cannot forget his love for her; so he asks for help from a Tengu master of Yōkai of the mountain. However, even though Jorōgumo was not human either, this love was forbidden. The logger couldn’t give up on his love for her because she was so beautiful. Though he knew she wasn’t human and in spite of something being said against it, while running back to see her one last time before she merged with nature forever he is caught by silk threads and eventually falls into Jo-Ren waterfall never to be seen again.

In the late 1800’s, illustrated scrolls of yōkai became popular in Japan. By recording these unusual beings, their visual forms became more solidified and inspired many other types of yōkai. Today, as the jorogumo is becoming well-known outside Japan, a similar resurgence has occurred as comics and animations have become popular identities for these creatures outside of Japan. We love monsters that are exclusively female, and at least with the jorōgumo there might be a good reason for the story given some facts based on a real animal that is believed to be so. Cultural and spiritual beliefs mixed with the natural world weave together frightening stories about supernatural beings shaped by cultural and religious agendas.