I doubt the literal equivalent 臨界量 is likely to work here.

I'm speaking in the sense of a community activity, where a critical mass of people is required in order for it to survive. e.g. if a group of 10 people meet weekly to do something (e.g. playing poker, going hiking, etc.) it's likely to continue to happen, while if only 2-3 people are interested it's likely that the desire to continue will disappear and it becomes difficult to encourage new people to join.

Is there something similar I could use to refer to this concept?


2 Answers 2


クリティカルマス or クリティカル・マス is widely used as marketing jargon, but this only refers to a nationwide market share of a new product/service. When describing smaller community activities, I don't think there is a good and short phrase. Some ways to rephrase it would be:

  • 持続可能な最低限の人数 (lit. "minimum sustainable number of people")
  • 次回以降に安定して続けていける人数
  • 次からもやれそうなだけの人数

臨界質量 and 臨界量 don't work in this context.


We don't have a portable word specifically for your situation. You can refer to @naruto's suggested phrases if you want to use it independently, or reword to:

[what you want to do] を続けていけるだけの人数

Of course, that doesn't translate every "critical mass" regarding people other than the context you explained.

I also found a few usage of 臨界人数 at Google, but I'm not sure if it'll gain popularity (at lease not by now).

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