How would you like to have fire-breathing spiders at your beck and call?! The Jorōgumo has that and more:
Jorōgumo (JapaneseKanji: 絡新婦, Hiragana: じょろうぐも) is a type of Yōkai, a creature, ghost or goblin of Japanese folklore. It can shapeshift into a beautiful woman, so the kanji for its actual meaning is 女郎蜘蛛 or “woman-spider,” and to write it instead as 絡新婦 (“entangling newlywed woman”) is a jukujikun pronunciation of the kanji. In Toriyama Sekien’s Gazu Hyakki Yagyō, it is depicted as a spider woman manipulating small fire-breathing spiders.
Jorōgumo can also refer to some species of spiders, such as the Nephila and Argiope spiders. Japanese-speaking entomologists use the katakana form of Jorōgumo (ジョロウグモ) to refer, exclusively, to the spider species Nephila clavata.
The Joren Falls of Izu
At the Jōren Falls of Izu, Shizuoka Prefecture, allegedly lives the jorōgumo mistress of the waterfall. The local legend tells of a man who rested beside the waterfall basin when the jorōgumo tried to drag him into the waterfall by throwing webs around his leg. The man transferred the webbing around a tree stump, which was dragged into the falls instead of him.
After that, people of the village dared not venture close to the falls anymore. Then one day, a visiting woodcutter who was a stranger to this all, tried to cut a tree and mistakenly dropped his favorite axe into the basin. As he tried to go down to fetch his axe back, a beautiful woman appeared and returned it to him. “You must never tell anyone what you saw here,” she said. Initially he kept the secret, but as days went by, the need to spill the story burdened him. And finally at a banquet, while drunk, he told the whole story. Feeling unburdened and at peace, he went to sleep, but he never woke again. In another version, the woodcutter was pulled outside by an invisible string and his corpse was found floating the next day at the Jōren Falls.
In yet another version, the woodcutter fell in love with a woman he met at the waterfall. He visited her every day, but grew physically weaker each time. The oshō of a nearby temple suspected that the woodcutter was “taken in by the jorōgumo mistress of the waterfall,” and accompanied him to chant a sutra. When a spider thread reached out to the woodcutter, the oshō let out a thunderous yell, and the thread disappeared. Now knowing that the woman was actually a jorōgumo, the woodcutter still persisted and tried to gain permission for marriage from the mountain’s tengu. When the tengu denied, him, the woodcutter ran towards the waterfall, where he was entangled by spider threads and disappeared into the water.
Swim with the Jorōgumo here on Wikipedia!