Aaron L. Miller, Ph.D. Faculty Profile

Photo of Aaron Miller

Aaron  L.  Miller, Ph.D.


Department of Kinesiology

Aaron L. Miller, Ph.D. is Lecturer in the Department of Kinesiology at California State University, East Bay. He is also the creator/host/producer of the podcast, "The Power of Sports", the author of Discourses of Discipline: An Anthropology of Corporal Punishment in Japan’s Schools and Sports (Institute for East Asian Studies, University of California, Berkeley, 2013), a translated version of which was published in Japanese as Nihon no Taibatsu by Editorial Republica in June 2021, and Buying In: Big-time Women’s College Basketball and the Future of College Sports (Rowman & Littlefield, 2022). 

Dr. Miller primarily writes about education, sports, culture, power, violence, and social justice, and teaches humanities (e.g., KIN 370 and KIN 305) and social science (e.g., KIN 302, KIN 315 and KIN 489) courses to kinesiology students.

  • Ph.D. Oxford University, 2009
  • M.Sc. Oxford University, 2006
  • B.A. UCLA, 2002

Not teaching this semester.

Miller, A. (Forthcoming), “Amerika no gendaa to daigaku supotsu”, Translation of Buying in: Big-time Women’s College Basketball and the Future of College Sports. Translated into Japanese by Prof. Tsukahara Fumio, et al. and to be published by Seikyusha.


Miller, A. (2022) Buying in: Big-time Women’s College Basketball and the Future of College Sports (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield). (For reviews, see below). https://rowman.com/ISBN/9781538166437/Buying-In-Big-Time-Women's-College-Basketball-and-the-Future-of-College-Sports


Miller, A. (2021). Nihon no taibatsu. Translation of Discourses of Discipline. Translated into Japanese by Prof. Masayuki Ishii, et al., and published by Kyowakoku (Editorial Republica) as “Nihon no taibatsu: Gakkou to supotsu no jinruigaku”. First edition, June 2021. Second printing, December 2021.  https://www.amazon.co.jp/-/en/アーロン・ミラー/dp/4907986114/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=ミラー+アーロン+体罰&qid=1619733138&sr=8-1.


Miller, A. (2013) Discourses of Discipline: An Anthropology of ‘Corporal Punishment’ in Japan’s Schools and Sports, Institute for East Asian Studies, University of California, Berkeley.

Available via the publisher OR via Amazon.com


Miller, A. & Z. Tummalapalli. (2020) “Being a Basketball Fan During the Black Lives Matter Movement and a Global Pandemic.” The Society Pages: Engaging Sports. October 6. (Peer review). Available online.


Miller, A. Review of Sen, Ronojoy (2018) Nation at Play: A History of Sport in India. New York: Columbia University Press.


Tsukahara, Fumio, Aaron Miller, et al. (2017) “Japanese Student-athlete’s (Taiikukaikei’s) Employment in the Middle of 2010s: A Survey on the Relationship between Particular Sports and Unofficial Job Offers (Naitei) from a Company listed with 1st Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange.” Supotsu kagaku kenkyu (Sports Science Research). No. 14, pp. 13-28.


Miller, A. (2017) “Teaching Violence: Corporal punishment, vertical hierarchy and the reproduction of militarist values in contemporary Japanese sports.” In Butterworth, M. (ed.) Global Sport and Militarism, Routledge. pp. 245-259.


Miller, A. (2017) “Punished Corporal Bodies.” In Andrews, D., Silk, M. and Thorpe, H. (eds.) Routledge Handbook of Physical Cultural Studies, Routledge. pp. 257-264.


Miller, A. Review of Stefan Hüebner (2016) Pan-Asian Sports and the Emergence of Modern Asia, 1913-1974.”Japan Forum, December 2016


Miller, A. “Corporal Punishment in Japan: One Path to Positive Anthropological Activism.” Anthropology in Action, 23(1) (Spring 2016): 39–45. (Peer Review).


Miller, A. & Nakazawa, A. (2016)  “Youth Sport in Japan.” In Smith, A. and Green, K (eds.) Routledge Handbook of Youth Sport, London: Routledge. pp. 108-116.


Miller, A. “Foucauldian Theory and the Making of the Japanese Sporting Body.” Contemporary Japan 27(1): 13-31, 2013. (Peer Review).


Miller, A. Kyouiku, supotsu ni okeru taibatsu to nihon shakai” (Japanese society and corporal punishment in schools and sports). Keio University Alumni Magazine, Mita Hyouron. April, 2014 Available Online.


Miller, A. & Nakazawa, A. (2014) “Who Safeguards the Child in Japanese Sports,” In Lang, M. and Hartill, M. (eds.), Safeguarding, Child Protection and Abuse in Sport: International Perspectives in Research, Policy and Practice, London: Routledge: Available Online


Miller, A. Review of Park, Hyunjoon (2013) Re-evaluating Education in Japan and Korea: Demystifying Stereotypes, Abingdon (UK), and New York: Routledge. The American Journal of Education.


Miller, A. & Tsukahara. F. Tokushuu: Taibatsu to kenryoku,” (Special Issue: Corporal Punishment and Power), Taiiku no kagaku [The Science of Physical Education] 2013: 63(10): 1-15. Available Online. (Peer Review).


Miller, A. “For Basketball Court and Company Cubicle: New Expectations for University Athletes and Corporate Employees in Japan,” Japanese Studies 33(1): 63-81, 2013. Available Online. (Peer Review)


Miller, A. “Zen Buddhism in Japanese Sports,” “Bushido in Japanese Sports” and “Nitobe Inazo”, In Japan at War, Perez, L (ed) ABC-CLIO: January 2013, Available Online.


Miller, A. “Sports.” In Stanton, A. L. and Ramsamy, E. (eds.) Cultural Sociology of the Middle East, Africa and Asia: Volume III (Encyclopedia), London: Sage, 2012, pp. 371-372, Available Online.


Miller, A. (2011) “Taibatsu: From educational solution to social problem to marginalized non-issue.” In Goodman, R., Imoto, Y. and Toivonen, T. (eds.). A Sociology of Japanese Youth: From Returnees to NEETs. London: Routledge (UK), Nissan Institute Japanese Studies Series, 2011, pp. 81-97. Available Online.


Miller, A. “From Bushido to Science: A New Pedagogy of Japanese Sports Coaching.” Japan Forum 23(3): 385-406, 2011. Available Online. (Peer Review).


Miller, A. 2011.  “Beyond the Four Walls of the Classroom: ‘Real’ and ‘Imagined’ Change in Japanese Sports and Education.” In Willis, D. and Rappleye, J.  (eds.) Reimagining Japanese Education: Borders, Transfers, Circulations and the Comparative, Oxford, UK: Symposium Books/Oxford Studies in Comparative Education, 2011, pp. 171-191. Available Online.


Miller, A.  & Toivonen, T. “To Discipline or Accommodate? On the Rehabilitation of Japanese ‘Problem Youth.” Japan Focus: The Asia-Pacific Journal, June 2010, Available Online. (Peer Review).


Miller, A. Taibatsu ni kansuru kokusaiteki dōkō” (International Trends Regarding Corporal Punishment). Written in Japanese for special issue of the Japan Sports Association’s Quarterly Magazine, Sports Journal, Winter 2009, Volume 282, pp. 14-15. (Peer Review).


Miller, A.“Taibatsu: “Corporal Punishment’ in Japanese Socio-cultural Context.” Japan Forum 2009: 21(2): 233-254, Available Online. (Peer Review).


Miller, A. Review of “Kōkōyakyu: (High School Baseball)”, Visual Anthropology Review, 2007: 23(2): 167-168, Available Online. (Peer Review).





Book (with Dr. Jeremy Rappelye): Education in Crisis and Stratified Japan, by Professor Kariya Takehiko, London: Routledge, 2012. Available Online.


Book: A Bilingual Dictionary of Japanese Culture (Eigo de shōkai suru nihon jiten), (General Editor: Horiguchi Sachiko, with Nakajima Mizuki and Tsuchiya Nozomu), Tokyo: Natsumesha, January 2010, (2nd Edition: 2011), Available Online.


Conference Presentation: “Omoide Kyōdōtai: Jogakusei no Yuujō” (“Communities of Nostalgia: Friendship among Girls’ School Students”) by Inagaki Kyoko (Professor, Kyoto University, Graduate School of Education), Delivered to international conference entitled, “Conceptualizing Friendship,” Leiden University.September 2010.


Co-translated Website (with Victoria Young): “Waseda University Writing Center” Available Online.


Research Publication: “Acculturation of Balinese Dance Technique,” by Kokuho Mami. Available Online.


Research Presentation: “The Birth of ‘Supo-kon’ Manga as ‘Les Lieux de Memoire,’” by Professor Abe Ikuo. Delivered to international conference entitled, “Remember the Glory Days of the Nation: Sport as lieu de mémoire., Brussels, Belgium. March 18-20, 2009.


Journal Article: Nihongo bogo washa ga nihongo de eigo bunshō wo kentō suru session no yuukōsei, (“Effectiveness of Tutoring English Writing in Japanese: NNS Tutors Helping NNS Writers at Waseda SILS Writing Center”) by Sadoshima Saori, Shimura Mika and Ota Yuko, Waseda Global Forum, 2008, No. 5.


Blog Post: “How Can We as Anthropologists Be the Change We Wish to See in the World?” Blog Post for the World of Work Blog of the Anthropology Career Readiness Commission, https://anthrocareerready.net/how-can-we-as-anthropologists-be-the-change-we-wish-to-see-in-the-world/

Op-ed:  Slow learners: An Open Letter to the President.ReaderSupportedNews, August 5, 2019.

Column:The Superpower of a Super Sport.” Anthropology News, February 3, 2017.                 

Column:A New Method for NCAA 'Madness.'Anthropology News, March 13, 2017.

Column:The Power of the NFL Draft.” Anthropology News, April 28, 2017.                

Column: Kneeling Down is the New Standing Up.” Anthropology News, June 6, 2017.

Column:Dropping the Ball.” Anthropology News, June 20, 2017.

Column: The Power of Japanese Sports.” Anthropology News, July 25, 2017.              

Column:The Power of Sports to Change American Ideals.” Anthropology News, January 17, 2018.           

Column: Summerhill and Me”, Neos 2017 (February). 9(1): 9-10.  

Op-ed: “The what, why and how I wrote Discourses of Discipline” (In Japanese), No-Border Sports. September 16, 2013. Available Online.

Op-ed: “Japan’s ambivalence toward corporal punishment”, Japan Today, January 15, 2013. Available Online. (Republished by No-Border Sports: In English. In Japanese.)

Video Message: “How Northern Californians are helping the victims of the Great Northeastern Japan Earthquake.” YouTube.com April 12, 2011, Available Online.

Op-ed: “How you can help Japan, and why you should.” Stanford Daily, March 28, 2011 Available Online.

Magazine Essay: “The slow train to snow country.” Kansai Time Out, February, 2009

Magazine Essay: “Japan abroad: In windy Wellington.” Eye-Ai, April, 2005

Magazine Essay: “China and the environment.” Kansai Time Out, November, 2004

Magazine Essay: “Kōshien: The Japanese boy’s dream.” Eye-Ai, June, 2004

Magazine Essay: “Kodo: The children of the drum.” Eye-Ai, February, 2004

Magazine Essay: “Onsen of southern Ehime.” Kansai Time Out, December, 2003

Invited Moderator: “Interview with Olympian Meghan O’Leary”, J-Leaders, Mount Madonna Sankat Mochan Hanumn Temple, CA, October 29, 2022


Invited Lecture: “Leadership Lessons from Championship Sports Coaches,” J-Leaders, Mount Madonna Sankat Mochan Hanumn Temple, CA, October 29, 2022


Invited Keynote: “Pay, Respect and Educate: Some thoughts about how to achieve health, wellness, and safety in college sports”, Alliance of Social Workers in Sport (ASWIS), Indianapolis, IN, October 6, 2022


Invited Lecture: Dr. Mary Volmer, St. Mary’s College, Jan Term Class: “Sports writing: The “I” in Team”. January 14, 2021


Panel (Virtual) Roundtable: “The Role of Sport in the Fight for Racial Justice”. Saint Mary’s College of California, Via ZOOM with Prof. Chi-An Emhoff, Prof. Robin Dunn, and Prof. Jeff Simons, September 9, 2020.


Panel Presentation: “Off the Beaten Tenure Track.” North American Society for Sports Sociology, Virginia Beach, VA. November 6-10, 2019.


Conference Presentation: “Corporal punishment in Japan: one path to anthropological activism.” Society for Applied Anthropology, Santa Fe, New Mexico. March 28-April 1, 2017.


Conference Panel Presentation: “Student Athlete Careers in Japan: Which Sports Help Student-Athletes Get Better Jobs?” (with Fumio Tsukahara (chair), Hiroaki Funahashi, Tomohiko Yoshida, and Shunichiro Harada). Annual Meeting of the European Association of Sport Management, Warsaw, Poland. September 7-10, 2016.


Invited Lecture: “The structure of corporal punishment in Japan.” Kansai University, Osaka, March 23, 2016


Invited Keynote Address: “College sports in America: Thoughts from an educational perspective.” Japan Sports Sociology Association, Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo, March 21, 2016


Invited Keynote Address: “The structure of corporal punishment in Japan.” Symposium on Corporal Punishment in Japanese Sports, Waseda University, Tokyo, March 19, 2016


Conference Panel Presentation: “Corporal Punishment in Japan: One Path to Anthropological Activism.” American Anthropology Association (AAA), Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C., December 1, 2014.


Invited Workshop Participant: New Horizons in the History of Modern East Asian Science and Technology, Harvard University (Department of the History of Science), Cambridge, MA, June 3-5, 2014.


Invited Lecture: “Anthropological notes on the striking of a child.” Stanford University (Center for East Asian Studies), Stanford, CA, February 18, 2014.


Invited Lecture (In Japanese): Nihon no supōtsu ni okeru taibatsu: Bunka shuugi teki na kaishaku wo koete.” [Corporal punishment in Japanese Sports: Beyond Culturalist Interpretations] Waseda University (Higashi Fushimi Sports Science Research Meeting), Tokyo, October 2, 2013.


Invited Lecture: “For mettle or money: Conflicting goals of college sports in the US and Japan.” Meiji Gakuin University (University of California, Education Abroad Program in Japan), Yokohama, September 30, 2013.


Conference Presentation: “Sovereignty and corporal punishment: Who controls the body of a child?” International Sports Sociology Association (ISSA), World Congress, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, June 14, 2013.


Invited Lecture, “From the basketball court to the company cubicle: Building strong teams and effective leaders in the US and Japan.” Stanford University (Japan Studies Program Lunch Series), May 13, 2013.


Invited Panel Lecture: “Do Japanese sports have a violence problem.” Temple University (Tokyo Campus), with Robert Whiting and Masayuki Tamaki, April 8, 2013. Video available online.


Invited Lecture: “For mettle or money: Conflicting goals of big-time college sports in the US.” Kyoto University (Hakubi Cosmology Symposium), April 12, 2012.


Invited Panel Lecture: “Taibatsu: From educational solution to social problem to marginalized non-issue.” Panel: “A sociology of youth problems in Japan,” European Association of Japanese Studies (EAJS) Triennial International Conference, Tallinn, Estonia, August 23-28, 2011.


Invited Panel Lecture: “Exploring educational continuities in Japanese sports and corporate Japan.” Panel: “The interface of formal and non-formal education.”Japan Studies Association of Australia (JSAA) Annual Conference, Melbourne, Australia, July 1-3, 2011.


Invited Lecture (In Japanese and English): “A comparison of Japanese and American sports: Coaching philosophy, discipline and character development.” Kobe University (Faculty of Law), April 27, 2011.


19th Hakubi Seminar (In Japanese and English): “The risks, challenges and benefits of conducting high-quality ethnographic research.” (with Dr. Nathan Badenoch), Kyoto University (Hakubi Center for Advanced Research), April 26, 2011.


Invited Panel Lecture: “Disciplining youth: A symbolic anthropologist’s interpretation of corporal punishment in Japanese schools and sports.” Panel: “Sports and education in Japanese sports.” Association of Asian Studies, Annual Conference, Honolulu, Hawaii, March 30-April 3, 2011.


Visiting Scholar Colloquium: “Character development in schools and sports: What Americans can learn from Japan.” Stanford University, Center on Adolescence, Stanford, California, January 12, 2011.


12th Hakubi Seminar (In Japanese): “Ni kōchi monogatari: nichibei basukettobōru kōchi no kōchingu ryuiten to seidoteki na sōiten.” [A tale of two coaches: The institutional differences and coaching similarities of American and Japanese basketball coaches], Yakushima, Japan November 13, 2010.


Invited Lecture: “From spirit to science: Measuring social and cultural change in Japanese sports coaching.” International Workshop on Modern Sports in Asia: Cultural Perspectives, National University of Singapore (Asia Research Institute), April 29-30, 2010.


Keynote Address: “From spirit to science: Social change in Japanese sports and society.” Dynamics & Design Conference, Hokkaido University, August 4th, 2009.


Invited Lecture: “Japanese basketball coaching: Past, present and future.” Hitotsubashi University, Department of Education, Tokyo, July 29, 2009.


Invited Participant: Global Network of Research Training in Japanese Studies, (Workshop established to build global networks among young social scientists specializing in the study of modern Japan), Sheffield, UK, March 21-25, 2009.


Conference Presentation: “Samurai or science: pedagogy, practice and training of sports coaches in Japan.” Japan Educational Research Association (JERA), Kyoto University, August 29-30, 2008.


Conference Presentation: “Sports coaching in Japan: Notes from ongoing fieldwork at a sports science department.” International Sociology of Sport Association (ISSA), Kyoto University, July 28-31, 2008.


Graduate Seminar (In Japanese): “Kōchi yōsei no minzokushiteki kenkyū: kantōken no shiritsu daigaku supōtsu-kei gakubu de no sanyō kansatsu kara.” [Ethnographic research on coach training: Notes from participant-observation fieldwork at a private sports science department in the Kanto region of Japan], Tokyo University, Department of Education, Tokyo July 14, 2008.


Conference Presentation (In Japanese): “Supōtsu wo oshieru hito wo yōsei suru: supōtsu kagakubu wo sanyō kansatsu fiirudōwaaku kara no minzokuteki dōsatsu.” (Training teachers of sport: Ethnographic insights from participant-observation based fieldwork of a sports science department), Japanese Society of Cultural Anthropology (JASCA), Kyoto University, May 31-June 1, 2008.


Invited Lecture: “Samurai or science: Two models of coaching and sports education in contemporary Japan.” International Christian University, Tokyo, May 19, 2008


Conference Presentation: “Training sports teachers: Amateur sports coaching pedagogy, practice and training in Japan.” Comparative and International Education Society (CIES), Columbia University, New York, March 17-21, 2008.


Conference Presentation: “Legal vs. Cultural Authority: The tatemae and honne of corporal punishment on high school baseball teams”, Anthropology of Japan in Japan (AJJ), Tokyo, November 17-18, 2007.


Conference Presentation: “Taibatsu: A critical study of corporal punishment as educational tool on high school baseball teams”, XIII World Congress of Comparative Education Societies (WCCES), Sarajevo, Bosnia, Sept. 1-7, 2007.


Graduate Seminar (In Japanese): “Ai no muchi to shingen: Amerika, Igirisu, Nihon de no taibatsu wo seitōka suru koe” (The whip of love and the Proverbs: Justifications for corporal punishment in America, England and Japan), Tokyo University, Department of Education, Tokyo, June 15, 2007.



Research funding: Kyoto University (Hakubi Project), Heisei 25 (2013 Academic Year) (¥1,200,000)

Research funding: Kyoto University (Hakubi Project), Heisei 24 (2012 Academic Year) (¥1,400,000)


Research funding: Kyoto University (Hakubi Project), Heisei 23 (2011 Academic Year) (¥1,400,000)


Research funding: Kyoto University (Hakubi Project), Heisei 22 (2010 Academic Year) (¥2,500,000)


Ph.D. dissertation writing grant: British Association of Japanese Studies, John Crump Award, 2009, (£2,500)

Ministry of Education, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) of Japan research student fellowship: University of Tokyo, 2007-2009 (¥4,080,000)


Funding for advanced study of Japanese: U.S. Department of Education/Sato Foundation, 2006-2007 ($15,000)



  • CSUEB: Selected to intra-university panel to develop social justice assignment guide 2020
  • CSUEB: Selected to intra-university panel to develop critical thinking assignment guide 2020
  • CSUEB: Assisted tenured faculty develop curriculum for quarter-to-semester conversion 2018
  • CSUEB: Governing Board Member, Center for Sports and Social Justice, CSU East Bay 2018-20
  • CSUEB: Affiliate, Center for Sports and Social Justice, CSU East Bay                                     2020-Present
  • Peer Reviewer: Grants: John Templeton Foundation. Academic Books: Routledge, Palgrave Macmillan, University of Hawaii Press. Academic Journals:Journal of Sport and Social Issues, Anthropology & Education Quarterly, Japanese Studies, Japan Forum, International Journal for the History of Sport

Visiting Scholar, Stanford University 2010-5

Visiting Professor, Waseda University, 2017

Research cited in mass media; A.R. Shaw, “Aliyah Boston v Caitlin Clark could become one of US sports’ great rivalries”, The Guardian, March 31, 2023.

Workshop invitee: Science and technology studies, Harvard University, June 3-5, 2015 

Workshop invitee: International Workshop on Modern Sports in Asia: Cultural Perspectives, National University of Singapore, April 29-30, 2010 

Keynote: Dynamics & Design Conference, Hokkaido University, 2010

Ivan Morris Memorial Prize: Best Japanese Studies Essay in a UK University, Oxford University, 2007 

Workshop invitee: New Scholars Workshop, Comparative and International Education Society, 2008

Hayase Moriyama Saito Prize for Excellence in Japanese, Stanford University Inter-University Center, 2007

Captain and starting point guard: Oxford University Men’s Basketball Team, 2005-2006

First Prize, Rosalind M. Alcott Essay Contest: University of California, Los Angeles, 2001

Forward: London School of Economics Men’s Basketball Team, 2000-2001, (Team Placed 2nd in British University Sports Association’s National Basketball Championships)

Sportsmanship award: London School of Economics, 2001

Scholar-athlete award: Las Lomas High School, 1997-98

Class Vice President and Salutatorian: Las Lomas High School, 1998

Captain, quarterback, and forward of freshman, junior varsity, and varsity football and basketball teams: Las Lomas High School, 1994-98