When it comes to the promotion of design in Japan, there's hardly any honor more significant than the annual Good Design Award. Developed by the Japan Industrial Design Promotion Organization (JIDPO), each year the Good Design Award heralds the best of the best. In its 49th year, and with over 30,000 rated products, the scope and authority of this annual event is beyond question -- it's coveted "G-Mark" is a true sign of quality and innovation (you'll come to recognize the slanted "G" logo -- we swear by it).

The 2005 results were made public earlier this month, except for the Grand Prize winner, which will be voted on today, and so we take a cue from this year's "Best 15" and highlight some of our favorite picks, including a couple of items that we feel should have made the top tier.

We'll also mention, just in passing, that the Toshio Iwai-designed Tenori-On digital instrument, featured in last month's column, received the special "Interaction Design Prize," as well as inclusion in the "New Frontier" category. Who says we don't know how to pick 'em?