Mienshao is a white, long-bodied Pokémon with a small head and small, triangular ears. Its forehead has a purple spot adorning it as well as a yellow one on its snout. It possesses a pair of long, yellow-tipped whiskers which have split ends. Its arms are almost completely covered by a large amount of fur that is tipped in purple and split at the end. Its torso has one purple ring of fur around its midsection. It also has purple fur on the bottom section of the torso, which resembles pants, and its bottom paws are clawed. It has a long, skinny tail that, like its paw fur, is tipped purple and split at its end. Mienshao is respectful and is usually seen training with its Trainer.
When facing a truly challenging opponent, Mienshao will bite off the fur from its arms to make itself lighter. Its arm fur is used as a weapon in battle and acts like a battle whip. Before it attacks, it lets out a bizarre wail. It then creates combination attacks that are difficult to see and overwhelmingly unstoppable, and slowly stores up power for a finishing blow. When using its blinding speed, Mienshao can crush massive boulders into tiny pieces.
According to Ken Sugimori, Mienshao and its pre-evolution were created after the game planners requested for Fighting-type Pokémon based on animals, since most pre-existing Fighting-type Pokémon had been humanoid in appearance. Based on this, Mienshao was designed after an ermine and a user of kung fu, perhaps specifically Shaolin Kung Fu. It also seems to draw inspiration from whip fighting. The fur on its arms also resembles the shuixiu (水袖) or "water sleeves", which are long, white, flowing sleeves used by performers of Chinese operas to express the emotions of their character. Some stereotypical representations of Chinese martial artists also depict them wearing large and loose changshans, often with the sleeves covering their hands.
Mienshao may be a combination of ermine and Shaolin.
Kojondo may be a combination of オコジョ okojo (ermine) and 道 dō (teachings, path), commonly used in the name of many East Asian martial arts (such as judo or taekwondo)
↑Creator profile on Megumi Mizutani in the Pokémon Trading Card Game Illustration Collection, p. 178: "She was in charge of the design for Mienshao and Pancham, among other Pokémon, as well as the design of and official illustrations for Gym Leaders, Pokémon Trainers, and other human characters." (archive)