Interesting link, this. It's a TIME magazine photo-gallery which charts a brief history of Japanese design. The entire list can serve as a set of case studies about innovation and/or outstanding marketing, in it's time. It's also a history of Japanese marketing. Apart from being good examples of design, needless to say.
The list, transcribed here,
1. The Sony TR-63 transistor radio, 1957 2. The Toyota Corolla, 1966 3. Hello Kitty, 1974, 4. Sony's Walkman, (or Soundabout), 1979 5. Nintendo Super-Mario Brothers, 1985 6. Issey Miyake in the 1990's 7. Tadao Ando's pavillion at the World Expo in Seville, 1992 8. The Toyota Prius, 2001 9. Hayao Miyazake's films, especially Spirited Away, 2001 10. Tatsuya Matsui's Palette, 2005 11. The Orochi
I'm disappointed that the Nintendo Wii is not in it, I'd put it as among the best of the lot. Nevertheless, it's a must-see for anyone interested in the history of innovation, marketing or design.