The narrator and puppeteer in bunraku could not operate without the shamisen accompaniment. It is a close relationship of interdependancy between the three of them. The music creates atmosphere and gives tempo to the actions on stage. A good player punctuates the speech of a character and links one section to another. He does not have a score in front of him, but plays entirely from memory. Seiji Tsurusawa is generally considered the greatest shamisen player in bunraku.
Chapter 1 has three performance recitals from 2007 at the National Thetare in Tokyo. 'Akoya Kotozeme no Dan' from 'Su-Joruri - Dan no Ura Kabuto Gunki', 'Sosaku Joruri Yashichi no Shi' and 'Bunraku Gonomi - Sanbanso, Sakaya, Nozakimura'. 144 minutes. Chapter 2 is a documentary that follows Seiji Tsurusawa for two months from the first day of rehearsals to the last day for the recital featured in chapter 1. Seiji Tsurusawa became a National Treasure after this performance. 89 minutes including a 19 minute interview. Region Code 2, 233 minutes, NTSC.