Sophia Lee

Sophia is a features reporter for WORLD Magazine. She graduated from the University of Southern California with degrees in print journalism and East Asian language and culture. She lives in Los Angeles with her cat, Shalom. Follow Sophia on Twitter @SophiaLeeHyun.

Kisses of regret

Relationships | The influential courtship manifesto I Kissed Dating Goodbye turns 21 this year, but some former fans of the book aren’t celebrating. What went wrong?
by Sophia Lee
Posted 1/28/18, 09:06 pm

Kenneth Ly sat on the couch with his girlfriend, watching Courageous with her, but his mind wasn’t on the movie. It was on his arm, which was down by his side but itching to slide across his girlfriend’s shoulders. Ly had been courting Katie for about five months, but still hadn’t dared touch her. Then three older men separately advised him to pursue her physically—some physical affection need not be sexual, they assured him.

Read more


How to be a good Buddha

Religion | As with other non-Christian religions, ‘practice really hard’
by Sophia Lee
Posted 1/22/18, 04:22 pm

My best friend in Singapore, Jingwen, was a Buddhist. I still remember the three incense sticks sticking out of a red altar by the door to her apartment. Sometimes, I would catch Jingwen’s grandmother step out of the house carrying fresh incense sticks, the tips glowing coal-red and unfurling a pungent, woody odor. She would hold the incense sticks up to her chest with both hands and bow before the altar several times, praying for luck and health. 

Read more

FG/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

A temple in Little Tokyo

Religion | Understanding why a Buddhist memorial service for miscarried and aborted babies appeals to hurting human hearts
by Sophia Lee
Posted 1/16/18, 12:50 pm

I must have walked past the Japanese Buddhist temple in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, several dozen times and never noticed it until the day I set up an interview with the temple priest there. That was in December, when I was working on a story about the Japanese Buddhist practice of observing memorial services for unborn babies (see “Guilt Offerings”).

Read more