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Tsuchigumo

Tsuchigumo.

Tsuchigumo, literally translated "dirt spider", is a historical Japanese derogatory term for renegade local clans, and also the name for a race of spider-like Yokai in Japanese folklore. The Japanese name for large ground-dwelling tarantulas, ōtsuchigumo, is due to their perceived resemblance to the creature of the myth, rather than the myth being named for the spider.

Japan has no native species of tarantula, and the similarities between the mythical and the actual creature- huge wandering spiders with an obvious face that like to hide in burrows- were entirely coincidental. The fact that the later iterations of the myth specifically refer to the body being that of a tiger, however, does imply that the description was influenced to some degree by the Chinese bird spider, which is commonly referred to as the "earth tiger" in its native habitat for its furry, prominently striped body and aggressive disposition.

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