Lifestyle/Entertainment Editor, Asia, Tokyo
Elaine's Feed
Jul 18, 2011

Finding out grandfather was an SS officer

By Elaine Lies

TOKYO (Reuters Life!) – Martin Davidson’s German grandfather was a loud, gregarious and difficult man who exuded a coarse, but infectious, bonhomie. He also carried a sense of secret intrigue and forbidden knowledge that he appeared to enjoy.

It wasn’t until after his death, though, that the UK-born Davidson finally learned the reason. His grandfather, the retired dentist, had also been an officer in the SS, the dreaded paramilitary unit that, under Heinrich Himmler, was responsible for numerous war crimes.

Jul 14, 2011

Book Talk: Tess Gerritsen turns to her Asian-American roots

By Elaine Lies

TOKYO, July 14 (Reuters Life!) – For 22 books, through
romances and thrillers and bestsellers, including the hit series
with homicide cop Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura Isles,
Tess Gerritsen hid the fact that she was Asian-American.

But for “The Silent Girl,” released this month, Gerritsen
turned to her Chinese roots, weaving Chinese lore, a mysterious
female wushu grandmaster, and the myth of the Monkey King into a
tale of murder set in Boston’s Chinatown.

Jul 7, 2011

Small acts may have big impact on U.S. poverty, book says

By Elaine Lies

TOKYO, July 7 (Reuters Life!) – Michael Mattocks was a
homeless seven-year-old in Washington D.C., living out of
plastic bags and drifting between shelters with his family when
he met John Prendergast, a 20-year-old volunteer mentor under
the “Big Brother” programme.

Their relationship lasted years and provided crucial support
for Michael, who dealt drugs at one point but gave it up for
steady work and life as a married father of five — typical of
the impact of small acts of volunteerism that are key,
Prendergast said, to keeping more disadvantaged U.S. children
out of poverty and crime today.

Jun 30, 2011

New music support group eyes Grammy-style awards for Asia

By Elaine Lies

TOKYO, June 30 (Reuters Life!) – A Singapore group that aims
to do for Asia what Grammy organisers have done for the U.S.
recording industry was launched on Thursday to promote regional
musicians and highlight musical achievement.

The Asia Academy of Music Arts & Sciences (AAMAS) will
eventually recognise outstanding artists with honours called the
Encore Awards, to be voted upon by their peers, said co-founder
Senn Moses of MusicDNA Pte Ltd, a Singapore joint-venture
company.

Jun 28, 2011

Indian women world’s most stressed – survey

By Elaine Lies

TOKYO (Reuters Life!) – Women around the world feel stressed and pressed for time, but women in emerging markets are more stressed than their sisters in developed nations — and Indian women say they are the most stressed of all, according to a survey published on Tuesday.

But while women in emerging markets may be under more pressure, they are also far more hopeful, with most seeing more financial stability and better chances for education for their daughters, according to the survey of 21 developed and emerging nations by global information and analytics firm Nielsen.

Jun 28, 2011

Indian women world’s most stressed — Nielsen

By Elaine Lies

TOKYO, June 28 (Reuters Life!) – Women around the world feel
stressed and pressed for time, but women in emerging markets are
more stressed than their sisters in developed nations — and
Indian women say they are the most stressed of all, according to
a survey published on Tuesday.

But while women in emerging markets may be under more
pressure, they are also far more hopeful, with most seeing more
financial stability and better chances for education for their
daughters, according to the survey of 21 developed and emerging
nations by global information and analytics firm Nielsen.

Jun 23, 2011

Book Talk: Aunties and men face off in Japan

By Elaine Lies

TOKYO (Reuters Life!) – The high point of life for a group of aimless Japanese men in their 20s is singing pop songs, eating beef jerky and watching a female neighbor undress — until one, for no reason, kills a middle-aged woman.

The woman’s death galvanizes her group of friends –divorced, fiercely independent “obasans,” or aunties, in their late 30s — who plot revenge against the men, violence that escalates hilariously as the two groups pick each other off.

Jun 17, 2011

48 hours in Kyoto, Japan’s ancient capital

KYOTO, Japan (Reuters) – Kyoto, Japan’s ancient capital, is a laid-back counterpart to Tokyo that was first established more than a thousand years ago. Far to the west, it is a good place to forget the current capital’s woes.

Kyoto’s wide avenues follow a grid pattern that invites easy walking, one of the best ways to explore. Strolls reveal a modern city, but one where traditional touches — a tiny shrine, upswept temple roofs — are never far away.

Jun 17, 2011

Travel Postcard: 48 hours in Kyoto, Japan’s ancient capital

KYOTO, Japan (Reuters) – Kyoto, Japan’s ancient capital, is a laid-back counterpart to Tokyo that was first established more than a thousand years ago. Far to the west, it is a good place to forget the current capital’s woes.

Kyoto’s wide avenues follow a grid pattern that invites easy walking, one of the best ways to explore. Strolls reveal a modern city, but one where traditional touches — a tiny shrine, upswept temple roofs — are never far away.

Jun 15, 2011

Novel of Seattle fire explores city’s underbelly

By Elaine Lies

TOKYO (Reuters Life!) – After the great Seattle fire of 1889 sweeps through and destroys the city, two women from very different backgrounds form an uneasy alliance and set out on the road to a complicated revenge.

Their story, and the uninhibited world of the burlesque theater that is the backdrop of “City of Ashes,” are all shaped and shadowed by Seattle, a city that author Megan Chance feels has a bit of a dark side — and one that until quite recently had only a relatively small presence in fiction compared to other U.S. cities.