Sep 29, 2018
This week we discussed the Jorōgumo (絡新婦, aka the 'whore spider'
or 'entangling bride'), Japan’s shapeshifting spider-woman Yōkai.
Here are the show notes, with links, pictures, etc.
Attribution: Matthew Meyer @ http://yokai.com/jorougumo/
Yōkai (妖怪) is the blanket term for a variety of supernatural creatures, monsters, and phenomena. Here are the sites and the book Lindsay used to find more about the Yokai:
Foster, Michael Dylan. The Book Of Yokai: Mysterious Creatures Of Japanese Folklore. 1st ed., University Of California Press, 2015.
The sites and books used to research the Jorōgumo:
https://ipfs.io/ipfs/QmXoypizjW3WknFiJnKLwHCnL72vedxjQkDDP1mXWo6uco/wiki/Jorogumo.html (archived wikipedia)
Reider, Noriko T. Seven Demon Stories From Medieval Japan. 1st ed., Utah State University Press, 2016, p. 61.
Mayer, Fanny Hagin. Ancient Tales In Modern Japan: An Anthology Of Japanese Folktales. Indiana University Press, 1989, p. 175.
We discussed a super cool location in Kyoto, Japan called Yōkai Street (一条妖怪ストリート). Here are the coordinates, some articles about it, and a screenshot from Google Earth:
Coordinates: 35°01'34.2"N 135°44'05.5"E
http://kyoto-taisyogun.com/en/ (official website)
https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/yokai-street (great pictures)
We also talked about the actual arachnid inspiration for the Jorōgumo, the Jorō Spider (latin name Nephila Clavata, katakana ジョロウグモ). Here are some amazing sites that talk a lot more about this gorgeous spider. We won't post any photos just in case any listeners are arachnaphobes, but definitely click one of these articles to see more photos! We highly recommend the Nat Geo one that we talked about in the episode.
There's a monument at a location one of the Jorōgumo tales stems from (Kashikobuchi 賢淵). Lindsay found what she *thinks* is the location. Here are the coordinates, the sites she used to find it, and a couple of pictures from one of those sites, along with a Google Earth screenshot.
Coordinates: 38°16'16.0"N 140°50'18.6"E
The Jorōgumo (or a version of her) can be found in a lot of popular culture, whether it be TV shows, movies, video games, books, or tabletop games. Some notable ones include Escape the Night, Hellboy: Sword of Storms, Grimm, Rosario + Vampire, Nioh, Ōkami, The Evil Within, Dark Souls, Diablo 3, The Spider by Hanss Heinz Ewers, Magic Dreams by Ilona Andrews, Tattoo by Jun’ichirō Tanizaki, xxxHolic, Yu-Gi-Oh, and Pathfinder (3rd Bestiary).
And finally, we discussed a bit about women and courtesans in Edo period Japan. Here are the links used to research those topics: