The power of spiders in rural Japan

Although I have lived in Japan’s countryside for well over a decade, I have only recently come to understand the power of spiders.

I’ve seen one spider put the fear of God into an entire family of foreign tourists. Even the shyest spider only has to appear in a minshuku (Japanese style inn) guest room wall and the guests will be shaking in their boots. It’s not as if the spider was particularly rude, yelling and shaking his eight fists at them. But still, the tourists high-tailed it down the road to a different minshuku.

The thing about spiders is that most people don’t like them. In Japan, spiders tend to be big like the ashidaka (heteropoda venatoria) which can be 10 cm wide.

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