Compared to the women in other periods, those of the Silla period seem to have lived more proactive lives in many ways. However, in the Samguk yusa and the Samguk sagi, both of which women's lives are partially described, we find the women and their activities are weakened and daunted in their significance. This article intends to illuminate this phenomena under the term "women's alienation," by which is meant "women should be so, but could not." On the basis of this definition, I will consider five aspects of alienation: objectification, marginalization, distortion, deletion, subordination.
This article begins with grouping six hyang ga poems --Sodong yo, Honhwa ga, Choyong ga, Jemangmae ga, Wonwangsaeng ga, and Dochonsudaebi ga-- into two. The first three can be characterized as the alienation of three "beautiful women" by objectification and the last three as the alienation of three "good women" by marginalization.
As for the former, it can be elaborated as the following: the three women's beauty is considered only to be an object of men's sexual desire, not a factor which constitutes the women's own identities. With respect to the latter we can explain as the following: the three women's religious establishments are degraded and put aside, whereby the women are marginalized.
A close reading of the anecdotes reveal that Iryon, the compiler of the Samguk yusa, is involved in the process of the alienation. As a Buddhist monk, he had a conservative perspective on women's "Great Awakening"(大覺) to the extent that whereas he described the case of the three "beautiful women" objectively, he degraded the three "good women's establishments. Accordingly, we can conclude that in the former's case, the alienation was caused by the dominant group of the Silla society, that is, men of upper class, and in the latter's case it was caused by Iryon.