A feudal Chinese would be tested for his literary interest when he was still in his childhood. On the first birthday celebration, he was dressed up and exhibited with various things. Among them was a writing brush. If the little hand grabbed the brush by chance, the family would be delighted by his scholarly choice. He was trained to be comfortable with his right hand if he happened to be left-handed, for all were expected to use their right hand. At age of seven, he was sent to a private school. On the very first school day, he was told to kowtow to a portrait of Confucius and to his schoolmaster, with whom his journey of a learned man began.
The first lesson for the youngster was handwriting. He was taught how to hold a brush that would accompany him all his life. Given a piece of rice paper, he began to write the first character he learned in regular script. He wrote with his elbow suspended, arm bent at a right angle, and the forearm parallel to the surface of his desk. His fingers were sore and his muscles were strained; however, he had to write the same character over and over again to learn its correct proportion. For handwriting was considered a controlled action, nothing casual or flippant was allowed.