In Japan, the Hyotan is a symbol of good luck. The plant is of the gourd family with a very hard shell. It has always been thought of with affection. After removing the seeds and drying them, gourds were used as flasks or containers for water, alcohol, medicine and seeds. They were especially used as seed containers over the years, and it was often said that seeds kept in such containers always bloomed successfully. They thus signified happiness or success to people. See "Good Luck Symbols The Gourd (Hyotan)". Hyotan Hitachi City, Now. Retrieved 2014-11-03.