Since Japanese kanji originated in China a lot of them use the same meaning and sound, but some are different, or they use both readings depending on the word. There are even some Kanji that have over 30 readings depending on the word. Over all there are over 2000 of these kanji, which make up of one of the three writing systems of the Japanese language.
Bob Myers: I'm trying to figure out the logic of having these pages about the Japanese language on SL. Kun-yomi vs. on-yomi issues come up almost never in the go context.
It also appears that the content of this kun-yomi page, perhaps after being copied from the on-yomi page, was never fixed to actually discuss kun-yomi.
And if we are going to have material like this, it should be more authoritative. For instance, the on-yomi is not a "translation", but rather a reading, that derived from the Chinese translation at the time the character was borrowed. Almost no kanji "use the same sound", but nearly all of them indicate the same or nearly same meaning. I'm not aware of characters with over 30 readings, although I've heard of one with 23. There are many more than 2,000 kanji characters, although that is approximately the number taught in public schools and approved for use in newspapers. And I would not call kanji one of the three "writing systems", but rather one of three "alphabets". And so on.
Here is Wikipedia's definition for on-yomi, which we should probably defer to in its entirety and just remove this page:
The on'yomi (音読み) of a kanji (also called its on reading or Chinese reading) is based on the Japanese approximation of the original Chinese pronunciation of the character at the time it was introduced.
xela: I agree that, rather than deleting these pages, it would be better to try and improve them. I think it's valid for this site to go beyond the mechanics of how to play go, and look at the cultural context--this includes learning a bit about other languages.
If we're going to quote Wikipedia, then let's link to it
bugcat: Bob, the dominant sense of the term "alphabet" is of a phonetic writing system which has characters for both consonants and vowels. Kanji / hanzi (specifically those known as "phonosemantic compounds") contain phonetic information relevant to Middle Chinese. This is only obliquely useful to modern Chinese languages and to onyomi readings, and not at all to kunyomi, which do not derive from Chinese.
The proper way to describe kanji is as logograms. More broadly, "writing system" is indeed an accurate term, as well as "script".