Sediment of Quaternary age from Oki Ridge (903 m depth) in the Sea of Japan (∼3500 m deep) records six episodes of high accumulation rates of Cd, Cr, Cu, Mo, Ni, U, V, and Zn. The high rates correspond to periods of sulfate reduction in the water column at the intermediate depth of Oki Ridge; the intervening low values correspond to periods of denitrification and oxygen respiration. The maxima have a period of 41 k.y., the youngest having an age of 1.10 Ma. The 41 k.y. cycle is similar to the cycle of δ18O values of open-ocean plankton of the same age. The similarity between the cycles of minor-element accumulation in Sea of Japan sediment and δ18O values of Atlantic Ocean foraminifera indicates that redox changes in the water column of the Sea of Japan during the Quaternary, forced by major shifts in water-column advection and minor shifts in photic-zone productivity, reflect global events.