Through my interest in Japanese swords, I have come to appreciate the hanging scrolls (kakejiku) usually displayed behind a set of swords in a Japanese home.  These kakejiku usually contain Zen-ga, or Zen painting.  Zen-ga is monochrome ink brush painting, traditionally done as a meditation exercise by Buddhist priests, warrior/poets, and others.

There are several common themes, with simple calligraphy of a classical poem or a stylized Chinese character the most common. Most frequently, this art is displayed in the tokonoma, the place of highest honor in a Japanese home or tea house. These works are thought to be a direct expression of the artist's spirit; consequently, it can be considered religious art in the purest sense.

The calligraphy of famous priests, tea masters, samurai, and the like, are treasured in Japan. While appreciation of the spirit of the artist is perhaps beyond those not steeped in the Buddhist tradition, and the Chinese characters often illegible, the works can easily be appreciated as beautiful abstractions in ink.

Many famous 19th and 20th century figures who played a part in the modern history of Japanese swords were known to create calligraphy for display in kakejiku. I have been collecting these as well as swords, and would like to share a few...Please have a look. I often come across these at flea markets and antique shows. 

Yamaoka Tesshu Toyama Mitsuru calligraphy by Nakayama Hakudo