A friend sent a picture he received from another friend of this framed parchment with some very flowery and old looking Japanese written on it asking me if I could read it and if I knew what it meant:
I've done my best to try and figure out what the characters are so far in the time since I was sent it, which was only a day ago as of this post.
With the help of some other Japanese people and a Chinese friend, I've scrapped together this so far:
The Chinese friend I spoke with, since I'm pretty sure this is really old if not styled like old Japanese, where it's just Chinese but there is a Japanese way to read it, suggested a couple of things.
One is that instead of 般 it could be 级 which I believe is 級.
He also wrote out what he thought the parts at the bottom were in Chinese which came out to be:
And from what I can tell and from what I looked up, it appears to be the same thing in simplified Chinese as what the initial Japanese person I spoke with wrote down.
Pretty much no one I spoke to could read the kanji after 入門許 that have been written over with that extra long stroke in 許 and while I don't know if anyone here could read it, I can't make any sense of it myself with how thick that stroke that's covering those kanji are so I understand if it's practically impossible to decipher it. That being said though, my Chinese friend was able to make out what he thinks the first one after 許 is which he said was 祥.
I have yet to try to figure out what this means in detail, but from a couple of words that do come up in a dictionary, mainly 許状 and 入門, my very vague guess is that this is some permit/license for either entry/passage to somewhere or instead a license like indicating entry into like a field/school of some art/skill.
Aside from those two words, the things I'm fairly confident I know what they mean are the name of the person, Ms. Merian/Marian/Marianne/Melyan/Merrien Fletcher, and the date written towards the end, which is June 1960 (Showa 35).