I had a sweet recollection today of when I was a child studying Mandarin and Fukien. I received an ink stone and some ink sticks, like pictured above from a Chinese Script painting set I bought a long time ago.
I was about five years of age, when I received them. They were not regular ink stone and ink sticks. They were very delicate, and when you grounded the ink stick with a bit of water into the ink stone, a beautiful scent from the ink would permeate the room.
They were probably a very expensive thing to give to a child, but I believe it was to encourage me to do my best with my Chinese scripting.
I believe I first used them with my paternal grandfather as I watched him use his. My dad’s younger brother, my late Uncle R, helped me practice my Chinese, especially cramming before tests. HaHa! I miss them so much today, but am grateful for all the time I was able to spend with them.