Hokori=Pride in Japanese
Hikari=Light in Japanese (katagana or whatever it's called)
Does it really matter which type of wood the weapons are made of? ...
The important thing to determine is--once you have a ken and jo (or a Fred and Ethel) what do these "weapons" mean to you as symbols.
Here is what they mean to me in a synopsis:
These weapons of nature were given 'ki' by the trees. The trees were given 'ki' by the Creator. Therefore, whether the trees are Japanese, American, or even if a bokken and jo just happened to erupt from Mt. Erebus in Antarctica 8D, they are gifts. These gifts serve as a constant reminder to me of ushiro waza, the sixth sense--that invisible yet omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent Creator who kindly made heaven a place on earth.
On a more superficial, relaxed note...
Take care of your bokken/jo/wakizash/tanto, and they will take care of you 8).
OK AikiTom got chewed out for responding too personally. But I am getting drawn in myself here. I don't care what type of weapon you have and how you care for it, invest your ki in it, "feel" its connection with the great Oneness and the universal path of light etc. It may be a gift from God but if it isn't the right wood and design for the type of practice you do it's going to break. Then you have a broken gift from God. At $60 to $100 a crack you can run through a lot of God's gifts if you don't know what to look for which is precisely what I thought the original; intent of this thread was about. Let's not let enthusiasm for the art and our teachers take us too far into La La Land. Just my preference. Hope this isn't too disrespectful Jun. I usually try to behave.
[Edited by George S. Ledyard on July 19, 2000 at 11:07pm]