Like Nobunaga before him, Hideyoshi never achieved the title of shogun. Instead, he arranged to have himself adopted into the Fujiwara Regents House, and secured a succession of high imperial court titles including, in 1585 the prestigious position of regent (kampaku). In 1586, Hideyoshi was formally given the name Toyotomi by the imperial court. He built a lavish palace, the Jurakudai, in 1587 and entertained the reigning Emperor Go-Yozei the following year.
Afterwards, Hideyoshi subjugated Kii Province and conquered Shikoku under the Chosokabe clan. He also took control of Etchu Province and conquered Kyushu. In 1587, Hideyoshi banished Christian missionaries from Kyushu to exert greater control over the Kirishitan daimyo. However, since he made much of trade with Europeans, individual Christians were overlooked unofficially. In 1588, Hideyoshi forbade ordinary peasants from owning weapons and started a sword hunt to confiscate arms. The swords were melted down to create a statue of the Buddha. This measure effectively stopped peasant revolts and ensured greater stability at the expense of freedom of the individual daimyo. The 1590 Siege of Odawara against the Late Hojo clan in Kanto eliminated the last resistance to Hideyoshi's authority. His victory signified the end of the Sengoku period. During this siege, Hideyoshi proposed that Ieyasu currently controlled five provinces were submitted, and Ieyasu receive the eight Kanto provinces that Hojo ruled. Ieyasu accepted this proposal. And Date Masamune pledged loyalty to the Hideyoshi.
In February 1591, Hideyoshi ordered Sen-no Rikyu to commit suicide. Rikyu had been a trusted retainer and master of the tea ceremony under both Hideyoshi and Nobunaga. Under Hideyoshi's patronage, Rikyu made significant changes to the aesthetics of the tea ceremony that had lasting influence over many aspects of Japanese culture. Even after he ordered Rikyû's suicide, Hideyoshi is said to have built his many construction projects based upon principles of beauty promoted by Rikyu.
Following Rikyu's death, Hideyoshi turned his attentions from tea ceremony to Noh, which he had been studying in the Komparu style since becoming kampaku. During his brief stay in Nagoya Castle in what is today Saga prefecture, on Kyûshû, Hideyoshi memorized the shite (lead roles) parts of ten Noh plays, which he then performed, forcing various daimyô to accompany him onstage as the waki (secondary, accompanying role). He even performed before the Emperor.
The stability of the Toyotomi dynasty after Hideyoshi's death was put in doubt with the death of his only son Tsurumatsu in September 1591. The three-year-old was his only child. When his half-brother Hidenaga died shortly after his son, Hideyoshi named his nephew Hidetsugu his heir, adopting him in January 1592. Hideyoshi resigned as kampaku to take the title of taiko (retired regent). Hidetsugu succeeded him as kampaku.