More than 10% of the world's population lives in the East Asian monsoon (EAM) region, where precipitation patterns are critical to agricultural and industrial activities. However, the dominant forcing mechanisms driving spatiotemporal changes in the EAM remain unclear. We selected Holocene records tracking monsoon precipitation in the EAM region reconstructed from pollen data to explore the spatiotemporal patterns of monsoon precipitation changes. Our analysis shows a time-transgressive pattern of maximum precipitation, with earlier occurrence in the southern area and later occurrence in the northern area. The monthly insolation changes force monsoon precipitation in different parts of the EAM region through a shift in the Western Pacific Subtropical High. We conclude that low-latitude monthly insolation changes (rather than average summer insolation changes) were the main forcing mechanisms of the spatiotemporal patterns of the monsoon precipitation maximum during the Holocene.

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