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Tooth for a Tooth in Chinese / Japanese...

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Ivory / Tooth

Ivory / Tooth Scroll

牙 is the character for ivory or tooth in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.

牙 can also mean tooth, tusk, fang, or molar.

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".

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.

This in-stock artwork might be what you are looking for, and ships right away...

Gallery Price: $67.00

Your Price: $36.88

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

Title CharactersRomaji (Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
kibayá / ya2 / ya
Tooth for a tooth以牙還牙
yǐ yá huán yá
yi3 ya2 huan2 ya2
yi ya huan ya
i ya huan ya
Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth以牙還牙以眼還眼
yǐ yá huán yá yǐ yǎn huán yǎn
yi3 ya2 huan2 ya2 yi3 yan3 huan2 yan3
yi ya huan ya yi yan huan yan
i ya huan ya i yen huan yen
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 tooth for a tooth that you were looking for?

Below are some entries from our dictionary that may match your tooth for a tooth search...


If shown, 2nd row is Simp. Chinese

Simple Dictionary Definition



see styles
yǐ yá huán yá
    yi3 ya2 huan2 ya2
i ya huan ya
Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth Scroll
a tooth for a tooth (retaliation)


see styles
 dougaihoufuku / dogaihofuku
(principle of) an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth; lex talionis; equal retaliation



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


see styles
(expression) (from Matthew 5:38) an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth

Many custom options...

Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth Scroll
Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth Scroll
Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth Scroll
Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth Scroll

And formats...

Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth Vertical Portrait
Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth Horizontal Wall Scroll
Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth Vertical Portrait

Lookup Tooth for a Tooth in my Japanese & Chinese Dictionary

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When the calligrapher finishes creating your artwork, it is taken to my art mounting workshop in Beijing where a wall scroll is made by hand from a combination of silk, rice paper, and wood.
After we create your wall scroll, it takes at least two weeks for air mail delivery from Beijing to you.

Allow a few weeks for delivery. Rush service speeds it up by a week or two for $10!

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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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