Abstract Whole-rock samples of metamorphic and granitic cobbles and boulders from the Kamiaso conglomerate in central Japan yield well-defined Rb Sr isochron ages of 1985 ± 25 my and 1820 ± 40 my. These ages are the oldest yet obtained for rocks in the Japanese Islands, and provide key evidence for the middle Precambrian metamorphic and igneous events in the provenance of these rocks. The age of 1985 my defined by six samples of quartzo-feldspathic gneiss may be the time of emplacement of the original granitic rocks. The 1820 my age indicates the time of extensive regional metamorphism and igneous activity. Precambrian episodes in the provenance of the Kamiaso conglomerate are summarized as follows: (1) 2000 my — formation of granitic rocks, (2) 1800–1600 my — high grade metamorphism accompanied by igneous activity, (3) 1200–1000 my — some significant thermal event. Judging from rock types and geochronological data, it can be said that metamorphic rocks in the Kamiaso conglomerate are remarkably similar to those of the Matenrei and Nangnim systems in North Korea. The Precambrian complex from which the metamorphic and granitic rocks were derived, was exposed to the north not far from the present site of the Kamiaso conglomerate in the late Paleozoic time, and it was probably a part of the large Precambrian continent in East Asia.