One of the experiences that led to Yoshimi and the Shadow Clan was a TV series called Alias.
This was a show that debuted in the fall of 2001. There's a lot that can be said about that TV season, but a girl with red hair stole a lot of my attention. At first it was just a show that everyone seemed to love. The critics couldn't stop talking about it. Eventually I gave it a shot, and watched as Gina Torres made Sydney Bristow's life a living hell. This wasn't so hard for Gina (known on Alias as Anna Espinosa, still one of the best names ever, but then Alias was filled with those), because everyone made life a living hell for Sydney. By the end of that season, Sydney's own mother joined the club!
Anyway, it wasn't just that Alias was and is still pretty unique in showing a woman doing action better than most men, and it wasn't just that Sydney was capable of expressing a wider range of emotion than anyone else on the planet (that's where my eternal love for Jennifer Garner comes into play; and p.s. if being married to an Oscar winner ever gets boring, let me know!), and it wasn't even that she did most of it wearing the most outlandish (and sometimes skimpy) disguises (hence the title) possible...It was everything. Alias was constantly inspiring. Sydney Bristow was a revelation.
My favorite season is actually everyone else's least favorite, the third, where Sydney has lost her memory and has to figure out what happened (and finally does thanks to Terry O'Quinn, in the role that basically gave us Lost's John Locke), because the world she finds when she gets it back is completely upside down! It's the season that has the least to do with the Rambaldi arc, but the most to do with Sydney herself, and for me that's about all I can ask from the series.
Alias redefined what it meant for a story to immerse itself into a character, and the fact that it was an action series meant that it was breaking every rule possible. That's the kind of TV series I tend to enjoy, and Alias was one of the first to show how far this could go, and it remains one of my favorites.
For me as a writer, I take inspiration from everything. Some writers can make it pretty obvious, and end up writing exactly like their source material, even if that means they write a story like the movies they enjoyed growing up (this is far more common than you'd think). If the writing is exceptional, if the presentation is phenomenal, I will invariably look for a way to incorporate its effect in my own work. I never consciously decided that Sydney had joined this background chorus of muses, but she was there all along. Yoshimi is not based on Sydney, but Sydney is nonetheless an ancestor to Yoshimi, whose own past is just as convoluted. If you ever watched Alias, you know exactly what I mean, and have that much better an idea what to expect as Yoshimi's story continues.