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The Name Eye for an Eye in Chinese / Japanese...

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Eye for an eye

yǐ yǎn huán yǎn
Eye for an eye Scroll

This same proverb seems to be used in virtually every language and culture around the world.

Whether you are Arab, Persian, Jewish, European, British, Asian, or American, this proverb is well known as the "original form of justice".

Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth

yǐ yá huán yá yǐ yǎn huán yǎn
Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth Scroll

Here's the full proverb, with the first and second parts.

However, in Chinese, it's more natural to put the "tooth" part first, so this more accurately reads "Tooth for a tooth, eye for an eye".

If revenge is important to you, I suppose this is the phase you want on your wall.

Islam

(phonetic version)
yī sī lán jiào
Islam Scroll

This both means and sounds like "Islam" in Mandarin Chinese.

The first three characters sound like the word "Islam", and the last character means "religion" or "teaching". It's the most general term for "Islam" in China. The highest concentration of Muslims in China is Xinjiang (the vast region in northwest China that was called The East Turkistan Republic until 1949 and is sometimes called Chinese Turkistan, Uyghuristan). Here you will find Uygurs, Kazakhs, and Kyrgyz and others that are descendants of Turkmen (possibly mixed with Persians and Arabs). Many of their ancestors were traders who traveled the silk road to buy and sell spices, silk, and exchange other goods from the Orient and the Middle East.

I spent some time in Xinjiang and got to know this community. They are strong people who can endure much. They are friendly and love to have a good time. I was a stranger but treated by villagers (near China's border with Afghanistan) as if I was a good friend.
However, I have heard that it's best not to cross them, as in this land, the law is the blade, and everything is "eye for an eye". The Chinese government has little control in Xinjiang with almost no police officers except in the capital of Urumqi (so it's a 60-hour roundtrip train ride to seek the aid of law enforcement in most cases).

While few seem to be devout, there are at least small mosques in every village. And you will never see a man or woman outside without a head covering.

It should be noted that these people are all citizens of China, but they are officially of the Caucasian race. A visit to Xinjiang will change your idea what it means to be Chinese.

Tooth for a tooth

yǐ yá huán yá
Tooth for a tooth Scroll

This phase often goes with "An eye for an eye", even in Chinese. Revenge seems to cross all languages, cultures, and even species (animals are known to take revenge too).

If a Chinese person uses just one part of the full proverb, it will be this "tooth for a tooth" one. Although, we are more likely to say "eye for an eye" alone in English.

Chinese people may also read this with a meaning of "Bite me and I will bite you back". However, it literally means "tooth for a tooth" or "you take my tooth, I take yours".


The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...

Title CharactersRomaji (Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
Eye for an eye以眼還眼
以眼还眼
yǐ yǎn huán yǎn
yi3 yan3 huan2 yan3
yi yan huan yan
yiyanhuanyan
i yen huan yen
iyenhuanyen
Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth以牙還牙以眼還眼
以牙还牙以眼还眼
yǐ yá huán yá yǐ yǎn huán yǎn
yi3 ya2 huan2 ya2 yi3 yan3 huan2 yan3
yi ya huan ya yi yan huan yan
yiyahuanyayiyanhuanyan
i ya huan ya i yen huan yen
iyahuanyaiyenhuanyen
Islam伊斯蘭教
伊斯兰教
yī sī lán jiào
yi1 si1 lan2 jiao4
yi si lan jiao
yisilanjiao
i ssu lan chiao
issulanchiao
Tooth for a tooth以牙還牙
以牙还牙
yǐ yá huán yá
yi3 ya2 huan2 ya2
yi ya huan ya
yiyahuanya
i ya huan ya
iyahuanya
In some entries above you will see that characters have different versions above and below a line.
In these cases, the characters above the line are Traditional Chinese, while the ones below are Simplified Chinese.


Not the results for eye for an eye that you were looking for?

Below are some entries from our dictionary that may match your eye for an eye search...

Characters

If shown, 2nd row is Simp. Chinese

Pronunciation
Romanization
Simple Dictionary Definition

以眼還眼


以眼还眼

see styles
yǐ yǎn huán yǎn
    yi3 yan3 huan2 yan3
i yen huan yen
Tooth for a tooth Scroll
an eye for an eye (idiom); fig. to use the enemy's methods against him; to give sb a taste of his own medicine

タリオ

see styles
 tario
    タリオ
{law} lex talionis (lat: talio); the law of talion; an eye for an eye

同害報復

see styles
 dougaihoufuku / dogaihofuku
    どうがいほうふく
(principle of) an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth; lex talionis; equal retaliation

目には目を

see styles
 menihameo
    めにはめを
(expression) (from Matthew 5:38) (See 目には目を歯には歯を・めにはめをはにははを) an eye for an eye

以眼還眼,以牙還牙


以眼还眼,以牙还牙

see styles
yǐ yǎn huán yǎn , yǐ yá huán yá
    yi3 yan3 huan2 yan3 , yi3 ya2 huan2 ya2
i yen huan yen , i ya huan ya
an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth (idiom); fig. to use the enemy's methods against him; to give sb a taste of his own medicine

目には目を歯には歯を

see styles
 menihameohanihahao
    めにはめをはにははを
(expression) (from Matthew 5:38) an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth

Many custom options...


Tooth for a tooth Scroll
Tooth for a tooth Scroll
Tooth for a tooth Scroll
Tooth for a tooth Scroll


And formats...

Tooth for a tooth Vertical Portrait
Tooth for a tooth Horizontal Wall Scroll
Tooth for a tooth Vertical Portrait
Dictionary

Lookup Eye for an Eye in my Japanese & Chinese Dictionary


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A nice Chinese calligraphy wall scroll

The wall scroll that Sandy is holding in this picture is a "large size"
single-character wall scroll.
We also offer custom wall scrolls in small, medium, and an even-larger jumbo size.

A professional Chinese Calligrapher

Professional calligraphers are getting to be hard to find these days.
Instead of drawing characters by hand, the new generation in China merely type roman letters into their computer keyboards and pick the character that they want from a list that pops up.

There is some fear that true Chinese calligraphy may become a lost art in the coming years. Many art institutes in China are now promoting calligraphy programs in hopes of keeping this unique form of art alive.

Trying to learn Chinese calligrapher - a futile effort

Even with the teachings of a top-ranked calligrapher in China, my calligraphy will never be good enough to sell. I will leave that to the experts.

A high-ranked Chinese master calligrapher that I met in Zhongwei

The same calligrapher who gave me those lessons also attracted a crowd of thousands and a TV crew as he created characters over 6-feet high. He happens to be ranked as one of the top 100 calligraphers in all of China. He is also one of very few that would actually attempt such a feat.


Check out my lists of Japanese Kanji Calligraphy Wall Scrolls and Old Korean Hanja Calligraphy Wall Scrolls.

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