Are there that many homophones in Japanese? There are Chinese, but that language is also tonal, whereas Japanese is not. As well, that article talked about switching to romaji which isn't what I was talking about. I was wondering if Japanese could be written solely in kana.
Yes, there are that many homophones in Japanese. Tagaini Jisho, the dictionary program I've been using lists some
of the homophones for each word, and almost every word has at least one, most have more. For example, the word きかん which he cited in the article has these options:
期間 (きかん): period, term, interval.
機関 (きかん): (1) mechanism, facility, engine. (2) agency, organisation, institution, organ.
帰還, 饋還 (きかん): (1) repatriation, return. (2) (electrical) feedback.
基幹 (きかん): mainstay, nucleus, key.
器官 (きかん): organ (of body), instrument.
季刊 (きかん): quarterly (e.g. magazine).
気管 (きかん): trachea.
既刊 (きかん): already published.
旗艦 (きかん): flagship.
貴翰, 貴簡 (きかん): your letter.
亀鑑, 龜鑑 (きかん): pattern, example, model, paragon, mirror.
帰艦 (きかん): returning to one's (war)ship.
軌間 (きかん): (railroad) gauge.
奇観 (きかん): wonderful sight.
飢寒 (きかん): hunger and cold.
汽缶, 汽罐 (きかん): boiler.
貴官 (きかん): you (used to address government officials, military personnel, etc.).
Admittedly, that is an extreme example (I don't believe most words have 17 homophones), but it gives a picture of what it's like.
As far as what he adressed in the article vs. your point, I think it really boiles down to the same thing. Whether it's written with kana or roumaji, Japanese just doesn't have the variety in sounds that would enable easy reading, because each word would not have a distinct shape. Kanji takes away that difficulty by giving each word a shape. F.x. if you saw the word きかん written in kana, who the hell would you know what it meant. Reading would be even more of a feat than it is now.
I don't know if this made any sense, but I hope it did.