Physics can be like that.
What irks me is that japanese already has a very nice and suitable phonetic orthography, called ひらがな. It's not like they'd have to adopt romanization to be able to spell their language phonetically, they already HAVE a very suitable and well-evolved phonetic script that is nearly completely unambiguous both from text to speech and vice versa. Why they don't just use that, is completely beyond me. I mean why? It's nearly a model of efficiency. Why use more characters, when you already have enough for the language to be perfectly read?
I don't buy any of the common arguments for kanji usage. The bottom line is that I can read 90% of certain easy material if it has furigana, and can read maybe 30% of it (making in unintelligible) without it. So why not just use the (*$)#&$ kana?
As George Sansom put it, back in the 1920s: "One hesitates for an epithet to describe a writing system which is so complex that it needs the aid of another system to explain it."
I don't think romaji is really super, though. Really, I think romaji is kind of ugly as well as inefficient (two characters per syllable), plus there's nothing 'inherent' about the pronunciations of the romanized script other than that one is supposed to pronounce the characters like japanese because they are being used for japanese, while hiragana, worldwide, has only one pronunciation which makes it more purely phonetic if that makes any sense. For example the letter 'o' can stand for probably half a dozen vowels across all the languages it's used in, (try horse, on, one, oven, so, to, and woman) but お can be read basically like an IPA character. Hiragana is like, tailor made for japanese.
I'm going to need to look through the fortune program for what I really want to quote. For now, though, here's one from everything2.com.
Shurly, if anything is indikative of a noders' intelligence, it is spelling. (Sorry, Klash, and Mary Claire van Leunen). If yor spelling is not klear, logikal, and konsistant, this is probably a sign that your thinking isn't all that klear and logikal either.
We are all intelligent pep'l, and ther is no (klear and logikal) reason we should choos an outdated tradishon over functionality. But, we du. Nearly every node in the database uses an old-fashuned and internaly inkonsistent stile uv spelling. You fools, yoos yor imaginashun! Speling shuld be a simpl and straetforward sistem uv puting yor spoken language intu print. If there is no such sistem avalabl, yu should make yor own.
There ar problems, tru, but better tu work twords a sistem that works than tu stick with wun that is needlessly komplex and konfusing. (For exampl, yu spell 'uv' with an 'o' and an 'f'. Du yu hear an 'f' in uv? I shur dont).
Learn How To Spel! Dont take sum outdated dikshunarie's word for it. Yu have a brane, yus it. Memorizashun uv esoteric knowledge is not a sutabl replacement for good ol' fashuned thinking.