Seasonal prediction of East Asia (EA) summer rainfall, especially with a longer-lead time, is in great demand, but still very challenging. The present study aims to make long-lead prediction of EA subtropical frontal rainfall (SFR) during early summer (May–June mean, MJ) by considering Arctic sea ice (ASI) variability as a new potential predictor. A MJ SFR index (SFRI), the leading principle component of the empirical orthogonal function (EOF) analysis applied to the MJ precipitation anomaly over EA, is defined as the predictand. Analysis of 38-year observations (1979–2016) revealed three physically consequential predictors. A stronger SFRI is preceded by dipolar ASI anomaly in the previous autumn, a sea level pressure (SLP) dipole in the Eurasian continent, and a sea surface temperature anomaly tripole pattern in the tropical Pacific in the previous winter. These precursors foreshadow an enhanced Okhotsk High, lower local SLP over EA, and a strengthened western Pacific subtropical high. These factors are controlling circulation features for a positive SFRI. A physical-empirical model was established to predict SFRI by combining the three predictors. Hindcasting was performed for the 1979–2016 period, which showed a hindcast prediction skill that was, unexpectedly, substantially higher than that of a four-dynamical models’ ensemble prediction for the 1979–2010 period (0.72 versus 0.47). Note that ASI variation is a new predictor compared with signals originating from the tropics to mid-latitudes. The long-lead hindcast skill was notably lower without the ASI signals included, implying the high practical value of ASI variation in terms of long-lead seasonal prediction of MJ EA rainfall.