Verb: to revolt
工業革命 (gohng yeh guh ming) – Industrial Revolution
革命性 (guh ming ssing) – revolutionary
Medieval Chinese: gak-myeng
Mandarin: ge ming (pronounced guh-ming)
Hokkien: gek beng, giak beng
Vietnamese: cách mệnh (pronounced gak meng)
Korean: hyeok myeong
Japanese: kaku mei
Although the word 革命 means revolution today, the word meant something else in antiquity. Originally 革命 was a truncation of the term 革除天命, which meant to change the Mandate of Heaven. When the Japanese decided to look for a kanji equivalent to the Western notion of “revolution”, they figured 革命 was the closest Eastern translation. The earliest use of the two-character word 革命 is found in the Confucian commentary of the I-Ching.
The Heavens and the Earth change amidst the four seasons, [king] Tang and [king] Wu change the Mandate, in accordance to the Heavens and the people.
King Tang is the founder of the Shang dynasty (c. 1650 – 1050 BCE).
King Wu is the founder of the Zhou dynasty (c. 1050 – 256 BCE).