Literally: wake up – receive – revolve – bind
Alternately: The four phases of a text, according to traditional analysis: “introduction, development, turn, and conclusion.” In other words, the setup, development, climax (or major change, twist, etc.), and resolution of a narrative or rhetorical arc. By extension, the concept of story structure and composition.
Notes: Apparently the concept originates with classical Chinese poetry – specifically a four-line form called the jueju (絶句, Japanese zekku) – and has influenced literature across East Asia ever since. Note that many short Japanese comics appear in four-panel format, in contrast with the three panels common in many American newspaper comic strips.
Sometimes one of the characters may be used on its own and suffixed with 句 (ku) to denote the individual phrase (or phase) in question. A synonymous phrase replaces 結 with 合, gou, “join.”
Compare and contrast the tripartite structure of 序破急 (jo ha kyuu), “beginning/order, break, and quick (conclusion).”