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矢作町 花の塔 Yahagi-cho Hana-no-tou Hana-no-tou (Flower Augury) Festival

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Hana-no-tou (Flower Augury) is a spring event held on the second weekend every year at Seiganji Temple in Yahagi Town in Okazaki City, Aichi Prefecture, with an assistance of the local merchant association. It was originally an augury to read good omens or bad in agricultural production held in Mikawa province (present-day Aich Prefecture) in the old days and it has been handed down as an augury named “Otameshi” at this temple for 400 years.

Today, the main part of the festival has changed into a kind of Flower Festival that is held all over the country on Buddha’s birthday in April. Visitors pour ama-zake (sweet sake wine) to the small statue of Buddha housed in Hanami-do Hall placed in front of the principal object inside the main hall. Visitors are also treated with ama-zake in the precinct. The local people together with the members of the local merchants association and junior and senior high school students cooperate with each other to make the festival successful.

Seiganji Temple is famous in the legend of Joruri-hime, who fell in love with Minamoto no Yoshitsune and died a tragic death. The Japanese flute inscribed with its name “Usu-zumi” and the mirror that were left to Joruri-hime by Yoshitsune as personal tokens are treasured at the temple.
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