Japanese Strikes – The Spanish Urban Legend

In my home country, Spain, almost everybody believes that when Japanese workers go on strike instead of not showing up for work, what they do to protest is to work even harder than on normal days. They are known as “huelgas a la japonesa” which mean Japanese-style strikes.

I think this urban legend only exists in Spain and some countries in Latinamerica! I wonder how did it originate.

In Japan there are no “huelgas a la japonesa”, but “normal” strikes do exist. They are less common than in other countries and when there are protests or manifestations they are usually very civilized.

Workers of the railway company Japan Railways JR during their strike protesting with signs at the the south exit of Shinjuku station:

Japanese strike

4 Comments
  • disma

    November 29, 2012 at 10:29 am

    no, in Italy too 😉

  • kirai

    November 29, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    really? I didn’t know! Good to know!
    any other countries?

  • gabi m

    December 5, 2012 at 3:34 am

    “Japanese” style strikes exist in Romania too. Strikers would put a white ribbon around one of their arms to show they are on strike and do their jobs with excessive zeal.

  • C Ohara

    December 7, 2012 at 1:22 am

    I’ve never heard of that urban legend! I can understand where the stereotype might have come from though~ XD