Why A Cockroach?
Years and years ago, I discovered among the many virtual worlds on the Internet one in particular know as FurryMuck. It is an amazing place, an entire world made up of anthropomorphic animals. Now, I had been taking an interest in anthropomorphic fandom (or "Furry" fandom as it is playfully known) for some time, and the roleplay challenge offered by FurryMuck was irresistible. What is it like to have a tail? How does someone with a muzzle drink a cup of coffee? What is it like to be able to hear someone else's heart beating?
That's for me, I thought. But what to be? Here we had a world of foxes and wolves, lions and bears, cats and birds, all chosen by their various players for such a variety of reasons. Some felt a kinship to their chosen species; others simply enjoyed the roleplay. I wanted to be unique. I wanted something different that nobody else had thought of.
At that time I was living on the south side of Chicago. I had never lived in a big city before, and in fact, I had always felt that I would be miserable in a big city. I was right, as it turned out. I hated Chicago, and in fact, when I left I made a point of not looking back. It's one of the reasons FurryMuck appealed to me. It gave me both an escape from a particularly unhappy existence, and it let me interact with others like me all around the country, even around the world. That's why I found myself staring at the screen one Autumn day, a copy of Peterson's Field Guide to North American Mammals on the floor beside me. I had gone through the whole book twice and still had not found an inspiration. A bear? No, not me. A bobcat? Still no. What to be?
It was at that very moment that the most monstrous, shiny black cockroach scurried up the side of my computer monitor and perched its loathesome self right on the top. Now as I mentioned, I was a newcomer to the city, and I had never before seen a cockroach, let alone a fang-filled titan such as this. I was horrified! In a panic I waved my hands at it to try to frighten it away. "Shoo! Git! Go away!"
It looked at me, amused by my efforts, and then it reared itself up and brandished its front set of legs defiantly at me. My jaw fell in disbelief, and all I could say was, "This here is a ballsy roach." Inspiration comes, of course, under the strangest of circumstances, and after only a little more thought I created the name and character of Kagemushi Goro, The Samurai Cockroach!
Why "Kagemushi"? A favorite film of mine is the late Akira Kurosawa's masterpiece Kagemusha, which means "the Shadow Warrior." "Mushi" in Japanese means "bug," and hence an amusing pun can be made from "the Shadow Bug."
Why Goro? I just liked that name.
Thus Kagemushi, or "Kage" as he is known to his friends, came to be.