One Thing Back To The Future: Part II Totally Got Right

One Thing Back to the Future: Part II Totally Got Right

It's 2015. That's when Back to the Future: Part II takes place. And while we aren't driving flying cars and wearing double neckties, the movie did totally nail one point about Japan and, well, fax machines.

As pointed out by Twitter user James Hadfield and website Spoon & Tamago, Marty McFly's Japanese boss still uses a fax machine. "Read my fax!" he tells Marty. You can watch the full scene here:

While faxes are a relic of the past for many, in 2015, people in Japan continue to use them — something that both The Washington Post and The New York Times have reported in 2012 and 2013, respectively. I have a fax machine. Pretty much every Japanese person I know does as well. Heck, today, a company even asked me to send them a fax — which I did.

Landlines are typically sold with fax machines, so even if people don't use them on a daily basis, they typically have them. With a fax infrastructure like that, you inevitably end up using them one way or another.

There are numerous reasons why the Japanese have stuck with the fax machine, with the biggest being perhaps that for older people they are easier to use than computers. Just ask Marty's boss, Fujitsu-san.


    Most companies, at least in NZ and the UK have fax machines, and still use them. Every company I have worked for have working fax machines that are used, for the majority, on a daily basis.

      Most companies require you to sign paperwork, which they can keep on file.
      While it is technically possible to scan a signature [add it as a layer in Photoshop, email result] companies usually want you to print out their [PDF] forms, sign them, and fax them back.

        But this is still pretty pointless as you could also follow this exact same process but substitute 'and fax them back' with 'scan them and email them back' or even 'post them back'...
        Not to menation you can digitally sign documents these days (without requiring you to physically add a picture of a signature to the actual doc). At my work we still get faxes annoyingly enough, but they aren't hard copy bits of paper spat out somewhere, they all get sent to 'efax' email addresses linked to the fax phone number.

        My point is, yes people still use them, but IMO there's no need to.

      I was about to say, use a fax a few times a week. It's not uncommon.

      A lot of countries it's simply a legal thing. A fax is considered a certifiable copy like a photocopy is, but laws haven't caught up to scanners and email so they simply can't accept documents that way for legal reasons.

    Woolworths here in Australia still use faxes. So no. Nothing special about Japan still using them. They are still very useful machines when you want to send particular forms or whatever.

    I'm just waiting for this

      Hell yeah the Black & Decker Pizza oven looks great.

      In all seriousness I hate the idea of going to Pizza Hut and bringing home a Pizza where I then cook it myself. OK yes it is nearly instant and it expands a tiny thing into a full size Pizza. But why am I buying them from Pizza Hut? It's not that hard to bring home a couple of Pizzas. Now if that's how they sold them as Frozen so I could store a heap of Pizzas in my freezer and expand them to eat then I'm down.

        ... said someone who doesn't own a motorcycle.

        being able to bring home miniaturized frozen pizzas in my backpack would be awesome.

      Aw yeah! But remember: "Do not consume before hydrating."

    Most if not all pubs/hotels etc in Australia still use faxes often for ordering or certification type stuff. It really isn't as phased out as this article would lead one to believe.

    Last edited 18/01/15 11:14 am

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