The Nō play Atsumori at heart is a play based on Buddhist ideals. To sum up the play in a sentence, the suffering of Astumori and Naozane bring them together in order to finally reach release from their worldly suffering. To describe it as finding “inner peace” though over simplifies their suffering. The ghost of Astumori needs Renshō/Naozane, because as a fifteen year old boy he evidently could not cope with his death without extreme anger. Naozone then prays for Astumori to plead for his ascent to Buddhahood. Naozane then needs Atsumori to provide him the closure to finally relieve himself from his inexorable guilt.
The play focused on transmitting buddhist ideals subtly through the action and dialogue. Unlike blatant promulgation, the play demonstrates the redeeming qualities of Buddhism through the ability of Naozane and Astumori to find release. It also demonstrates the anguish and suffering that murdering someone can inflict onto a person.