・11 areas in Toei-cho,
・Every November - Early March
※Schedule is different from each area.
For more details, please see the following site.
About 40 programs of traditional ceremony is held in 11 areas in Toei to pray for good harvest and good health from early November to early March.
It is rare festival that men and evil dance together. At the last part of the ceremony, the performers and the audience make circle and dance together.
It is nationally designated as Intangible folk cultural asset.
The origin of "Hana Matsuri (Flower Festival)" is uncertain, but legend says, "It was brought from mountain monks in Kumano (today's Wakayama pref.) and Mt. Hakusan in Kaga (today's Ishikawa pref.) during Kamakura and Muromachi period (1192 - 1573).
The ceremony is held in the coldest season. The evil, main character of the ceremony, stamps the ground by feet, people try to wake up the spirits sleep in the ground during the cold winter. It also means rebirth of the spirits.
This thoughts became the principle of the ceremony; to pray for reincarnation of human spirits.
There are some view about meaning of "Hana"; ①To enshrine flowers believed as the symbol to predict future, ②indicates rice plant, and ③reincarnation after death in Paradise.
The stage of the performance is considered as Paradise, and lotas, flower of the ceremony, bloom there.
Based on the principle of the ceremony, people who celebrate the ceremony at the stage (place where flower of Pradise bloom) gain new life.
At the "Oni no Mai (evil dance)", evil, local people, and the audience dance together with cheering voice. It is fun ceremony.
The dancers dip tied-up straw into boiled water and splash hot water to the audience by chasing them. The place is filled with screem and laugh.
Everybody is get wet; however, it is believed that people get wet can stay healthy for a year.
Access/Fees/Opening hours/Contact etc.
From "Toei Sta." of JR, transfer to the bus and get off at "Hongo".
From Tomei Highway "Toyokawa Exit", 45km via Route 151.
Source of reference:
Pictures 1 & 2: Okumikawa Tourism Navi
Pictures 3 & 4: Toyone Village Tourist Association