Lifestyle/Entertainment Editor, Asia, Tokyo
Elaine's Feed
Jun 7, 2011

World Chefs: What cooking teaches you about parenting

By Elaine Lies

TOKYO (Reuters Life!) – When Keith Dixon’s daughter Gracie arrived five weeks early and about half the size of a normal newborn, it ushered in a long period of learning to cope with the unexpected that faces all new parents.

As Dixon, an enthusiastic life-long cook, adapted to fatherhood, he found that lessons learned in the kitchen came to his aid in dealing with everything from teething to sleepless nights.

Jun 7, 2011

Following the man who stole tea from China

By Elaine Lies

TOKYO, June 7 (Reuters Life!) – Robert Fortune was a
scientist, a botanist and, in some ways, an industrial spy. But
he is best known as the man who stole tea from deep within China
and took it to India in the mid-1800s, changing history.

His venture required years of toil up China’s rivers by boat
to places where no Westerner had gone before, overcoming
illness, pirate attacks and untrustworthy associates in the
quest for tea seeds and plants that could be grown in India.

Jun 2, 2011

Book Talk: Madison Smartt Bell on gods and demons

By Elaine Lies

TOKYO, June 2 (Reuters Life!) – Mae is a Las Vegas blackjack
dealer, working amid the rattle of dice and whisper of cards,
roaming the desert with a rifle in her time off.

When planes crash into the World Trade Center, she revels in
the anarchy of the destruction. And she sees, in television
footage, the face of an old lover, screaming as the towers fall.

May 26, 2011

Book Talk: A murder in Japan–but who is the real villain?

By Elaine Lies

TOKYO (Reuters Life!) – A young woman is murdered on a lonely mountain road, a young construction worker arrested. But who is really responsible?

Little is as it first appears in “Villain,” a noir look at life in rural Japan. The first book by award-winning author Shuichi Yoshida to be translated into English, it was recently made into a movie in Japan.

May 26, 2011

Don’t just learn from mistakes — embrace them, book says

By Elaine Lies

TOKYO, May 26 (Reuters Life!) – Alina Tugend made a mistake
at work. Since she is a reporter, this meant issuing a public
correction of an article.

Afterwards, frustrated, she thought about the contrast
between being taught from childhood about learning from
mistakes, and the fact that, even so, most people still hate
making them.

May 12, 2011

Book Talk: Caring for a mother at the end

By Elaine Lies

TOKYO (Reuters Life!) – Sean Manning was about to turn 27 when his mother collapsed with a heart attack and then was diagnosed with cancer, the start of a 13-month hospital odyssey that ended in her death aged just short of 60.

An only child, Sean spent most of that time at her bedside in Ohio, shepherding her through a medical labyrinth to hospice care — a journey he chronicled in “The Things that Need Doing.”

May 6, 2011

Pilot whale hunt extended in Japan town featured in Oscar film

By Elaine Lies

TOKYO (Reuters Life!) – The season for hunting pilot whales in a Japanese town made famous by the controversial Oscar-winning documentary “The Cove” has been extended for a month, partly because of a devastating tsunami that hit Japan in March.

Taiji, on the Pacific coast in southwestern Japan, shot to global infamy after the release of the movie, which featured eco-activists who struggle with police and fishermen to gain access to the town’s secluded cove where the grisly hunt takes place.

May 6, 2011

Pilot whale hunt extended in Japan town featured in Oscar film

By Elaine Lies

TOKYO (Reuters Life!) – The season for hunting pilot whales in a Japanese town made famous by the controversial Oscar-winning documentary “The Cove” has been extended for a month, partly because of a devastating tsunami that hit Japan in March.

Taiji, on the Pacific coast in southwestern Japan, shot to global infamy after the release of the movie, which featured eco-activists who struggle with police and fishermen to gain access to the town’s secluded cove where the grisly hunt takes place.

Apr 29, 2011

Lack of jobs for women costs Asia billions yearly: report

By Elaine Lies

TOKYO (Reuters Life!) – Poorly employed Asian women pose both old and new challenges to the world’s fastest growing region, with nearly half of them without jobs and struggling with perennial issues of lower wages and fewer chances for education.

But now, their lack of job opportunities is also costing billions of dollars a year in Asia, a report said on Friday.

Apr 28, 2011

Book Talk: Life on base when the soldiers are gone

By Elaine Lies

TOKYO (Reuters Life!) – A Serbian war bride waits for her husband to return from Iraq. A widow tries to find out what happened to her husband in his final hours from the soldier whose life he saved. A wife watches from afar as her husband appears to have an affair.

Siobhan Fallon’s “You Know When the Men are Gone,” a selection of eight linked short stories, portrays a world rarely, if ever, heard from: the home front on a military base, in this case Fort Hood, Texas, when the soldiers are deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan.