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In the story 「英雄の器」by Akutagawa, while discussing the legendary hero Xiang Yu (項羽) one of the one of the characters says

それは強いことは強いです。何しろ塗山の禹王廟にある石の鼎さえ枉(ま)げると云うのですからな。(from: Aozora Bunko)

From what I've been able to find, Xiang Yu was thought to have superhuman strength and could easily lift a ceremonial tripod or ding (鼎), resulting in the expression 「鼎を扛(あ)ぐ」, "to lift a 鼎", and by extension "to employ or display tremendous strength." 枉げる means "to bend, curve, warp", so「鼎を枉げる」 doesn't have the same meaning, although I guess it would also take incredible strength to bend a stone ding. Is there some special, idiomatic meaning or interpretation for 「鼎を枉げる」? Or is it just a playful variation (or error?) of 「鼎を扛ぐ」?

text source: https://www.aozora.gr.jp/cards/000879/files/35_15166.html

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  • I'm not sure 枉げる with this kanji has the sense of physically bending something. It could have been used in the sense of changing the straight or "correct" position of 鼎.
    – aguijonazo
    Feb 7 at 22:00
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    枉げる is an alternative kanji for 曲げる, it does have the meaning of physically bending flat or cylinderical objects, But i don't understand how stone can be bent so it might just be an error. I searched with 曲げる and got this but it doesn't specify it's stone. ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/…
    – user52004
    Feb 7 at 23:47
  • @shinku - I know 枉げる is an alternative kanji for 曲げる. What I'm not sure about is if 枉 is used, or if Akutagawa would use it, for the sense of physically bending something. I have my doubts considering the original meaning of 枉.
    – aguijonazo
    Feb 8 at 0:54
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    In the first original edition dl.ndl.go.jp/pid/962908/1/85, it uses 鼎さへ差上げる. So I think your guess is correct (at some point it was edited to 扛) and the aozora bunko version is an error (of aozora bunko or of the edition it is based on).
    – sundowner
    Feb 8 at 3:53
  • @sundowner thanks, I guess it's an error after all.
    – bocwulf
    Feb 8 at 12:11

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