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I was reading the definition of 屈する:

くっ・する 【屈する】

(動サ変)〔文〕サ変 くつ・す ①体を曲げる。曲げる。㋐腰や手足を折り曲げる。かがめる。「膝を―・する」「腰を―・する」 ㋑数をかぞえるために指を折り曲げる。「彼はこの分野で五指を―・する内に入る」

I don't understand this example sentence

彼はこの分野で五指を屈する内に入る

I think it roughly means he entered the stage where he needs to clench his fingers into a fist in this field? I am uncertain about the meaning of 内に入る here. I wonder in what context will this sentence will make sense? Baseball?

1 Answer 1

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Note the definition:

数をかぞえるために指を折り曲げる

It refers to the act of bending fingers to count (counting on your fingers).

五指を屈する means bending fingers up to 5. 'He' is counted before count 5, so the sentence means he is within world-class top 5 in this field.

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