Beyond Our Best: Creators Uplifting Japan

Origin and Founders of Project Dr. Paul Briot & Nathalie Ishizuka

The movement Beyond Our Best originated about ten days after March 11th 2011, when Dr. Paul Briot and Nathalie Ishizuka met at a dinner party in Brussels, Belgium and began to talk about Japan and the use of crisis to elevate.  Intrigued by this unusually modest and wise Ph.D. in philosophy and Professor of Comparative religion, who spoke neither of religion nor philosophy — Nathalie could not leave his side.

japanMarch11.1The turning point for Nathalie to find a way to come to Japan was when Paul drew a curve indicating the use of crisis and March 11th to go beyond a previous best and asked her if she understood. 

Having worked with her father, Dr. Yukio Ishizuka, a Japanese Harvard trained psychiatrist on well-being beyond a previous best, she had seen this curve countless times.

She was certain it could be achieved on an individual level.  Indeed, since her childhood she had seen several hundred Japanese, American, European and other nationalities do so with her father.

“But using crisis to go beyond a previous National Best — and not just an economic or political sense — but in a morale, aesthetic, existential or spiritual sense —  this was new to me,” says Nathalie. 

Determined, she found a way to come to Japan and to work with Japanese artists and other creative individuals spending four years in Japan (from August 2012 to August 2016) seeking individuals who could do just that.

paulbriot-1About Dr. Paul Briot

Dr. Paul Briot, Ph.D. in philosophy and professor of Comparative Religion, calls for artists to help us experience wisdom.

Writer, Essayist, Poet, Philosopher, Professor of Comparative Religion

Ph.D. in Philosophy.  Professor at the University Center of Charleroi (CUNIC) and at the Faculty of Comparative Religion, Antwerp (F.V.G), Belgium.



About Nathalie Leiko Ishizuka

Nathalie Leiko Ishizuka, a Franco-Japanese from New York, sees crisis as an opportunity to re-invent ourselves.

Background Psychology of Health, Japan, Artist, Writer, Entrepreneur, Individual & Societal Change, Yoga. 

M.A.L.D. Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy (admin in cooperation with Harvard), M.B.A. HEC, B.A. Amherst College, summa cum laude, Article 9 Japanese Constitution.  Keio University & Seishin Joshi Gakuin exchange.

Inter-Disciplinary Team

To help artists, leaders and citizens better balance personal and professional lives, Beyond Our Best draws on inter-disciplinary experts in the field of psychology, the mind, body and spirit whose work can both be applied to the East and West.  Each has their own approach and no two are necessarily affiliated.

About Dr. Yukio Ishizuka Beyond A Previous Best Level of Happiness & Creativity

Japanese Harvard Trained Psychiatrist & Artist Develops Paradigm of Health applied in US, Europe and Japan

Yukio IshizukaDr. Yukio Ishizuka graduated from Keio University Medical School, Tokyo, Japan in 1964.  He completed his residency in Psychiatry at Mass Mental Health Center, Harvard Medical School in 1969.  He is the founder of Japan International Medical Students Association (JIMSA), which received the coveted Japanese Health Culture Award in 2007 by the Minister of Japanese Health at the Japanese Imperial Palace.  Author of Self-Actualization, Publisher Kodansha (Tokyo, 1982) his book sold over 45,000 copies in Japan.  Dr. Yukio Ishizuka also worked several years at McKinsey and Company, an international consulting firm and was President and Co-founder of a subsidiary of Mitsubishi International Corp for mergers and acquisitions. Happily Married for 44 years with three children.

About Saiso Shimada, Shodo Artist  Beyond Our Best: Creating Inner Silence with Art

Elevation through Art:  A combination of breath, joy, energy and spirit


Shimada, born in Yamagata Prefecture, studied under Kaian Tanaka.  Her works are on display in Beijing Palace Museum, British Library, Turk Japon Vakfi Kulutur Merkezi, Japanisch-Deutsche Gesellchaft, Ukraine National Gallery, and the Lianyungang Museum.  Numerous solo and group exhibitions including EU Embassy Tokyo Private Gathering July 2016, in Ginza Tokyo, Japan November 2017, the Japanese Embassy in Belgium summer 2017, and Paris, France June 2017.

Her work was commissioned to calligraph the signboard at Musahino Imperial Mausoleum (mausoleum complex of Japanese Emperors).

Most recently works of her art appeared in the philosopher and poet’s book Dr. Paul Briot’s newest 2017 edition of Le Rayonnant…un art vers l’Infini…

“This wonderous space created by her work brings forth pure emotion and will bring deep healing to people’s hearts and minds.”

— Aleksey Bogolyubov, Curator of the State Hermitage Museum

About Frederic Bosendorf, D.O.  Facilitating the Body to Move towards Optimal Health

Frederic Bosendorf, D.O., osteopathe, physiotherapist, practitioner of Chinese medecine, uses a holistic approach to help individuals go beyond a previous best level of well-being.

Portrait 5Physiotherapist in 1984, D.O. in osteopathy in 1996 from the International Academy of Osteopathy I.A.O., Chinese Medecine (2003-2007) and (2011-).  Graduated in physiotherapy in 1984 Frederic Bosendoft received his D.O. in osteopathy in 1996 from the International Academy of Osteopathy I.A.O.   He studied Chinese Medecine from 2003-2007 including  two periods of study in China. Since 2008 he has taught once or twice a year in Kigali Rwanda training professionals to assist others in recovering and heal from the genocide.

About Artists Opinions & Projects

As media attention on the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis can be often short-lived and short-sighted, ideas presented on this site are are meant to incite the Japanese and others to continue a narrative on the nature of the crisis and the opportunity crisis provides for individual, societal or national transformation.

Each person who is interviewed on this site is not responsible for the views of others nor does he or she agree on different societal challenges or issues.

Dr. Paul Briot and I have different opinions and unless stated in this blog that we sign something together,  the opinion is Nathalie Ishizuka’s.  There are of course many other valid perspectives to be considered.

The response of a few individuals in crisis does not constitute the whole.  And yet, it may be sufficient to stir the imagination.

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