The aspect of the orphan mindset that Yoshimi most closely embodies, however, is adopted thought. I define adopted thought as thought that is not native to oneself but rather learned from someone else. Some people live their entire lives subsisting on adopted thought. It's just easier to accept what someone else has told you to believe about something. Original thought is rare. Adopted thought is not inherently bad. Some people will just naturally assume that what they consider their original thought is in fact adopted thought. They internalize the behavior they observe in others.
This is a matter of the old nature vs. nurture debate. In psychology this is the phenomenon of determining how much of a person's psyche is determined internally and how much externally, or in other words learned or inherent behavior. Did you get it from someone or did it develop of its own accord?
To an orphan like Yoshimi, this is very much a pertinent question. From the perspective I took, she would be rebellious of all attempts to be placed in a foster home (which she fights against through thirty-six of them) because it would be like replacing her parents. How, then, would she know if anything that she becomes is from herself and her dead parents, and how much from the strangers who took her in? She's afraid of losing a link that only exists now in her mind.
Yet as the story develops she's told that everything she is, all her instincts, have been inherited from her parents, abilities she never knew she had but she's been using unconsciously all her life. Studies on twins, who have the exact same genetic material, have shown that when they're separated and raised in different environments develop, in fact, differently. I wasn't interested in taking a strictly scientific approach. Biologically we undoubtedly inherent certain genetic traits, obvious ones like facial structure, hair color, body type. The children of famous individuals often have a hard time living up to their parent's achievements, but a lot of that is simply the typical impossibility of facing pressure of that kind directly. Yoshimi is in the unique position of doing exactly that but without the pressure. Although since most of the people she subsequently encounters knew her parents, it's simply a matter of her own necessary ignorance.
When faced with a blank slate but a given set of art supplies, there's only a matter of variance. That's the story of writing. No matter how different, every story is the same, and it's a fool's errand to try and prove differently, much less rebel and deny and reject. In Shadow Clan Yoshimi encounters James Peers, who refuses to teach her traditional martial arts methods because he believes in a holistic approach, or in other words the nurture approach by way of nature, absorbing what will develop as it's experienced, using one's own instincts to take whatever form will develop.
In adopted thought, it's simply a matter of learning. That's what education is all about in school, taking what's given you without question. In original thought, it's an interactive experience. You accept and reject and modify as you deem necessary. Truth is not always obvious, even when it seems that it is.
The natural instinct of any guardian is to assume that the person you're taking responsibility for needs your guidance. If someone like Yoshimi doesn't believe that, or fears it, then there's very little to be gained by the experience. She's an orphan because that's what she is and what she believes she must continue to be. There was always the chance that a family may have presented itself that broke all her barriers. In fact, the complete story is all about how the people she meets end up being a different kind of family. They're all struggling against each other, but the real trick is that they don't let that get in the way. That's the true definition of family.
I have a problem with people who rely on adopted thought. I think it always shows, and it's damn depressing, because they never realize it themselves. It's not always a bad thing, but it's a phenomenon that causes more trouble than it's worth. Yes, it helps everyone function in a common direction, but it's also distrustful of dissenters, and that's never a good thing. You don't always need a sword to confront it, and maybe Yoshimi's real story is that she's awash in a sea of original thinkers who are all struggling against adopted thought.
Please note that I'm not arguing against foster homes or adoption, but rather the belief that it's okay to deny the identities of those who are entered into these equations. It only ever causes trouble. That's exactly what Yoshimi believes, and most of this is merely subtext. The story of Yoshimi is a metaphor for how tough life can be in any context, no matter what you believe or what you're struggling against.
Please note that I'm writing about Yoshimi, as well as the Space Corps, all month long over at Scouring Monk as part of the A-to-Z Challenge.