Thanks to the input of another study abroad student, I have been able to identify the culprit as a Giant Crab Spider. This was actually comforting, because they do seem to have a pretty harmless reputation. I suppose I will include the description (with a little added commentary of my own) for your benefit.
For people who are afraid of spiders, the giant crab spider is what their nightmares are made of. Though not generally dangerous, they are huge in size and have a tendency to come into houses [no kidding]. Some of them are reminiscent of the large, hairy tarantula.
The giant crab spider may be found living in much of the southern hemisphere and the southern half of the northern hemisphere. The two states in the United States where they are most likely to be found are Hawaii and Florida. They are quite frequently found in Australia. [and apparently Japan] In various places they are referred to by different names. Cane spider, rain spider, huntsman spider, and wood spider are all names for the giant crab spider, but the name giant crab fits this spider as well as any name. First they are big; sometimes their legs span out as much as close to twelve inches, enough to startle many people who aren't normally afraid of spiders. Secondly, they do resemble crabs because their legs bend in the same way that crabs' legs bend.
Other than size, the giant crab spider may be described as either brown or gray and sometimes hairy. [definitely hairy] They move very quickly, sometimes leaping while running; if caught, they will cling to whatever is holding them. [oh god] They will bite, but the bite is usually not dangerous. One type, the Neosparassus, can cause its victim a day or two of not feeling well; however, the person who is bitten generally gets well quickly. [I feel so much better]
These spiders, rather than building webs, live in and among wood. [OH GREAT, our entire house is wood] They eat other insects and sometimes tiny creatures. The name huntsman spider comes from its ability to hunt down what it eats. Like other spiders, they shed their skin regularly. They are of the family Sparassidae, and there are some eighty two genera of this type of spider.
Little did I realize until I began examining the photos, but amusingly enough the CD is called Pink Spider by hide with Spread Beaver. Coincidence if there ever was one. For kicks, I’ll include the music video for this single below. “Pink Spider” was filmed in a hotel in Los Angeles, and the song is taken from the nickname hide was often referred to by, given his characteristic bright pink hair.
hide (pronounced hee-day, and typeset in all lowercase) was a very influential Japanese musician. First having gained recognition as the lead guitarist for X Japan, one of Japan’s most well known metal bands, hide began releasing solo work. His works in cooperation with Spread Beaver are basically an extension of his solo material with a full band featuring many scene icons. Just as hide was about to expand activities into the western hemisphere with the creation of a new band, Zilch (a project in cooperation with the drummer of Queens of the Stone Age), he was found dead in his apartment.
Since his unfortunate death in the late 90s, hide still maintains a strong influence on the music scene in Japan, having produced many bands who still exist today and being the main inspiration for many aspiring rock musicians.