Japanese temple displays repaired doll of renowned author of 'The Tale of Genji'

A temple in western Japan has displayed a repaired doll modeled after Murasaki Shikibu, a noblewoman who authored the 11th-century masterpiece, "The Tale of Genji".

Ishiyamadera Temple in Otsu City, near Kyoto, is where Murasaki Shikibu is said to have conceived the concept of the novel, a story about the life and love affairs of Prince Genji.

The temple has a wooden doll in her likeness, which was made about 70 years ago. It had formed cracks to its face and damage to its multi-layered kimono.

The temple resorted to crowdfunding to cover the repair costs, and collected more than 7.8 million yen, or about 52,300 dollars.

The doll, unveiled on Monday, has a fresh layer of white pigment smoothly covering its face and hands. It is also wearing newly-made layers of purple and pink robes.

Chief monk Washio Ryuge said she is happy to see the doll looking so beautiful again. She said she hopes visitors will see the doll and imagine what the real Murasaki Shikibu was like.

The temple plans to use the remaining money from the fundraising drive to repair a hanging scroll depicting the noblewoman. The work is due to finish in November.