|This article does not cite any references or sources. (October 2008)|
Men who excelled in these six arts were thought to have reached the state of perfection, a perfect gentleman.
The Six Arts concept developed during the pre-imperial period. It incorporated both military and civil components. The civil side was later associated with the Four Arts (qin playing, chess, calligraphy and painting). However, the latter was more a leisure characteristic for the late imperial time. It evidently overlaps with the Six Arts, since the qin epitomized music, the chess (Go, a board-game known by its Japanese name) related to the military strategy, while calligraphy dealt with the aesthetics of writing and the character cultivation (the rites).