This sentence is confusing me a bit, particularly the bold part:


Jisho.org has the definition of 人材 as:

capable person; talented person; human resources; personnel

And the definition of 作り上げる as

to make up; to fabricate; to build up; to complete; to construct

So putting two and two together it seems like we're talking about "building a talented person" which doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Could it be that 人材 can also just mean "talent" or "ability"? Or could it be that "xを作り上げる" can mean "to make into x"?

Extended context:

A: 「ゲームをはじめ、日本のサブカルチャーは今や世界に轟いているのだ」

B: 「うむ、それで?」

C: 「だからゲームをやりまくるってのは...」

A: 「国際社会に通用する人材を作り上げることに繋がるってわけなんだよ!」

B: 「どーいう理屈だ...」


人材 usually means "human resources" because the kanji 材 means "resource" or "material." While a good 人材 is always a precious thing, I doubt 人材 itself necessarily means "talented." For example, a boss may say 彼は素晴らしい人材だ referring to his person and it means something like "He's a capable/talented person". But 彼は人材だ wouldn't make much sense.

And 作り上げる here is "to develop/foster".

EDIT: I'm sorry, I noticed a monolingual dictionary defines 人材 as "a talented and/or capable person". デジタル大辞泉 says:


On the other hand, ALC (online J-E/E-J dictionary) says 人材 is "human resource", "manpower", "workforce", etc. They're very different, but I feel ALC's translations are closer to the modern usage of this word.

I strongly think that 君は人材だ never means "You are a talented/capable person." It does not make much sense, but it sounds even derogatory to my ears, because it's like saying "You are a resource." 君は会社の貴重な人材だ is okay as long as someone higher says this to his employee.

人材 in 人材を作り上げる is "someone who has gained some skill through training, and can be counted as an independent worker of a company", or simply "a dependable businessperson". But keep in mind that this is a word mainly used in the context of company management, from the viewpoint of the managers.

人材派遣会社 means "temporary staffing/employment agency", and people dispatched by such firms are not necessarily talented specialists. In this case, 人材 just means manpower, workforce.

Finally, your example essentially is a joke. 国際社会に通用する人材を作り上げる/育成する (="to develop world-class businesspersons") is a kind of phrase said tons of times by presidents of global companies and universities. But it's not a phrase young people may say seriously in conversations. Associating games with such a "sophisticated" phrase is the funny part of his line.

  • I still don't understand what 人材 means in this context, "human resources" doesn't seem to fit. I added more context to the question in case that helps.
    – Aurast
    Apr 17 '16 at 23:30
  • ALC has a bunch of examples of 人材, does this help?
    – naruto
    Apr 18 '16 at 4:20
  • 不良人材 on the other hand ...
    – virmaior
    Apr 18 '16 at 7:04
  • The last paragraph of your edit really cleared up what's going on here. B was berating A and C for playing too many video games. Thanks for also clearing up what 人材を作り上げる means.
    – Aurast
    Apr 18 '16 at 16:01

"Building a talented person" may not be the most natural English, but it still makes a lot of sense. What is it that you find hardly-sensical about it, given that you seem to be okay with "building (a) talent/ability"? Is it because you think "build" shouldn't be applied to living, sentient beings like humans?

I think the meaning of 人材, in this case, is much akin to that of the word "talent", as in "talented people collectively".

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