59 percent of Japanese homes have fax machines.
“One reason is that computers, at the outset, never worked well for the Japanese. The country’s language — a mix of three syllabaries, with thousands of complex ‘kanji’ ideograms — bedeviled early-age word-processing software. Until the early 1990s, Japanese was nearly impossible to type. Even today, particularly for older Japanese people, it’s easier to write a letter by hand than with a standard keyboard. Japan also relies on seals, called ‘hanko,’ that are required for most official documents.”
“The government’s long-standing monopoly on phone lines kept high-speed digital Internet rates relatively high — particularly compared with South Korea, where the government promoted cheap broadband use.”
– From “In Japan, fax machines remain important because of language and culture,” by Chico Harlan, Washington Post
“The Idea for the Fax Machine Has Been Around for 170 Years,” Matt Soniak, Mental Flosss
Short Link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-djS
Image (“Faxing Wishes for the Star Festival, after Toshikata”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com
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