We present a multiproxy record using pollen, magnetic susceptibility, carbon isotopic composition, carbon/nitrogen ratio, and particle size of mid- to late Holocene environmental changes based on a sediment core from the Pomaeho lagoon on the east coast of Korea. The records indicate that climate deteriorations around 6400 cal yr BP and 4000 cal yr BP caused rapid vegetation changes in the study area, which were presumably attributable to low sunspot activity and strong El Niño–like conditions, respectively. These two cooling events were likely modulated by different climate mechanisms, as El Niño–Southern Oscillation activity began to strengthen around 5000 cal yr BP. These events may have had a substantial impact on ancient societies in the study area. Combining our results with archaeological findings indicated that climate deterioration led to drastic declines in local populations around 6400 cal yr BP, 4400 cal yr BP, and 4000 cal yr BP. Because of its high population, coastal East Asia (e.g., eastern China, Japan, and Korea) is particularly vulnerable to potential cooling events in the future. Therefore, there is a strong need for detailed paleoclimate information in this region.