to Paul Shipley (and of course anyone else who wants to read it)
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? Yes I think a little, the sword needs to be sturdy but I can guarantee you that any bokken or jo you order from Bujin is going to be of excellent quality. If you would rather not mail order and/or do not live in Boulder CO, then find a martial arts equipment dealer you trust, pound the sword on your forehead a couple times, and you're good to go.
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).