Abstract The Sambosan accretionary complex of southwest Japan was formed during the uppermost Jurassic to lowermost Cretaceous and consists of basaltic rocks, carbonates and siliceous rocks. The Sambosan oceanic rocks were grouped into four stratigraphic successions: (i) Middle Upper Triassic basaltic rock; (ii) Upper Triassic shallow-water limestone; (iii) limestone breccia; and (iv) Middle Middle Triassic to lower Upper Jurassic siliceous rock successions. The basaltic rocks have a geochemical affinity with oceanic island basalt of a normal hotspot origin. The shallow-water limestone, limestone breccia, and siliceous rock successions are interpreted to be sediments on the seamount-top, upper seamount-flank and surrounding ocean floor, respectively. Deposition of the radiolarian chert of the siliceous rock succession took place on the ocean floor in Late Anisian and continued until Middle Jurassic. Oceanic island basalt was erupted to form a seamount by an intraplate volcanism in Late Carnian. Late Triassic shallow-water carbonate sedimentation occurred at the top of this seamount. Accumulation of the radiolarian chert was temporally replaced by Late Carnian to Early Norian deep-water pelagic carbonate sedimentation. Biotic association and lithologic properties of the pelagic carbonates suggest that an enormous production and accumulation of calcareous planktonic biotas occurred in an open-ocean realm of the Panthalassa Ocean in Late Carnian through Early Norian. Upper Norian ribbon chert of the siliceous rock succession contains thin beds of limestone breccia displaced from the shallow-water buildup resting upon the seamount. The shallow-water limestone and siliceous rock successions are nearly coeval with one another and are laterally linked by displaced carbonates in the siliceous rock succession.