I've actually never thought that I needed an instrument to clean my tongue. I thought regular tooth brushing (and occasional tongue brushing) would handle that. I guess I was wrong.
This morning, I spotted this as the store. The fact that there was a tongue cleaner—well, a whole rack of them—was not interesting per se. Rather, the fact that these tongue cleaners were awarded the "Good Design Award", or simply the G-Mark, was. You can see them on the product's packaging.
Good Design Awards are given to an array of things designed by Japanese people, from cars to apartment buildings. The original Xbox 360 even got one. It was, well, co-designed by a Japanese firm.
I've always liked the idea of the Good Design Award—namely that there are Japanese people so obsessed with good design that they are judging what is well designed and what is not. Even if it's tongue cleaner.