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Japan’s Unintentional “Spiderwoman” Makes Headlines

A fashionably-dressed woman who climbed a 150,000 volt electrical tower then proceeded to nearly rescue herself from her predicament is being dubbed by some less-sensitive news outlets as “Japan’s Spiderwoman.”

The 28-year-old woman climbed up the 55m (180 ft) power tower sometime on the evening of the 22nd in what was apparently a suicide attempt—she has since told authorities that she had a fight with her boyfriend. However, just short of the top, she realized what she was doing and began calling for help.

Someone living nearby called the police just before 11pm after hearing her yelling. After assessing the situation, the fire department put a safety mat at the base of the tower and had the power the lines were carrying re-routed to prevent electrocution.

The rescuers told her to wait for them, but about two hours later, in something of a surprise to even the rescuers, the woman began climbing down on her own—with her handbag. After a 10-minute climb, she got to within 10m (30 ft) of the ground before either getting stuck or becoming too weak to continue the descent. Rescuers took over and lowered her the rest of the way to safety.

She was apparently even more lucky than it might seem—according to authorities, had she climbed just a meter farther up, the 150,000 volts of the power lines would have probably electrocuted her.

This entire event was caught on video by news crews, and has been making the rounds since. Some less-sensitive reports are calling her “Japan’s Spiderwoman,” while others are going with “osawagase-onna,” meaning “Commotion-causing woman,” or just “tettou-onna,” “tower-woman.”

Here’s one of the news videos:

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