Question: Why does Kumagai kill Atsumori?

Kumagai reasons that it is better if he is the one to kill Atsumori, because he can offer prayers on his behalf for the afterlife. It is said that the beheading of Atsumori is what led Kumagai to take priestly vows and become a Buddhist monk.

What does the ghost of Atsumori want?

The ghost of Atsumori, disguised as a grass cutter, is the shite role, and Kumagai, having become a monk and changed his name to Renshō (or Rensei), is played by the waki. The monk seeks to ask forgiveness from Atsumori, and to calm his spirit.

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