Upon the recommendation of another user I've decided to make this an AAR.. Although, it's more of an experiment than an "action." The original post is in the Gameplay and Strategy thread.
My idea is to create an Japan where there are no advanced firearms, artillery nor armored ships. In other words, 17th century Shogun 2 in FOTS with the exception of the user having mid-19th century tech. This way, one can enjoy their ant farm, playing world-police and benevolent God with the peace of mind knowing not an army can possible rivals any of one's own.
But alas, it is not so easy. This endeavor requires conquering the map entirely as well as refitting each province to exclude any building supporting advanced firearms, artillery and armored ships. Then of course, balancing provincial happy/sad to foment simultaneous map-wide rebellion by increasing taxes. What good is an ant farm without any ants?
A few things I've discovered along the way..
-The AI will self-destruct and refit buildings differing from their loyalty influence, ie: Sheriff building. This will lead them to build an Cannon Range. In fact, I've seen the AI remodel the Factory to build a Cannon Range. So far I've not seen a clan replace the Traditional Dojo or build a Cadet School.
-The AI is typically too weak to take out a province the first revolt, it normally takes 2-3 rebellions and a severely damaged star fort for them the win short of loading the battle scene and conceding defeat. Rebellion units spawned are Levy Spearmen and Matchlock. Loading 40+ battles takes up way too much time. Over two hours my first go-around.
-Everyone hated me upon their independence.. This might be due to my status as a republic and I've seen upwards of -700 on the diplomatic relations. Much of this is due to a "Allied to Enemy Clan" reasoning.. (adds between -200 and -400) which is odd since I had no allies upon allowing all the clans their independence.
So in summary, as of now, it is possible to create a low-tech utopia with the exception of a few clans, most do not refit. However, the few that do, refit only with Artillery but with this give themselves a considerable advantage in the game's AI warfare. However, even in the game's auto-battle a full compliment of Samurai barely make a dent in a modern Army. The regular battles are even more sad; an entire army failed to kill a single soldier. The Naval battles still prove to be a bit of a challenge as the Armored ships don't have much over the wooden and since Ironclads and Armored Frigates are a limited commodity, the AI still have somewhat equal numbers.
---My next task is to figure out a combination of buildings in each province which would prevent any AI from refitting anything. And please, if anyone has tried this as well, I'd appreciate input and ideas. I'm stumped for now.