After thinking A LOT about the Meiji Revolution and about how the world works in general, something very obvious hit me in the face like a whip cream filled water balloon. In order to achieve something like the Meji Revolution you really have to have a foreign nation which can influence said nation of focus.
The Meji Revolution was the Meji Revolution because the people of Japan were drastically changed through their contact with outside forces from other European countries, as well as contact from America, and Japan's imperial push into China.
I am having trouble visualizing a stand-alone setting, like I want, which is dominated entirely by a quasi-Japanese, quasi-European look and feel. So, what do I need??? A foreigner, or a couple countries full of foreigners.
The grand map of Sigilsval which I drew up in the past was dominated by a massive land mass in teh center, but what I have decided since then is to open up this map and expand it. What it really needs is another half, another whole map to represent the other parts of the world which have influenced the world in general.
At this point, I am totally unsure of how I am going to accomplish this, or if I am even going to worry about it. I think referring to some ambiguous 'other' country during the design process is acceptable (as long as I get back to it in the end).
Does anybody else have any experience of this kind?? I would love to find out.