Photo/IllutrationA scene from “The Dull Sword” (Provided by the National Film Center based on the original print from Natsuki Matsumoto's collection)

Japanese Animated Film Classics is marking 100 years of Japanese animation by streaming online 64 anime shorts produced and released between 1917 and 1941.

The line-up includes “The Dull Sword,” Japan’s oldest-existing work of animation that came out in 1917.

The footage collected by the National Museum of Modern Art Tokyo’s National Film Center was converted to digital format for streaming.

The films are available on a trial basis until the end of December.

Showcasing fairy tales, propaganda films and other works from wide-ranging genres, the website offers a glimpse into the early days of Japanese animation and shows how artists sought new ways of expression using paper cutting, shadow play, puppetry and other techniques.

The short films also come with English subtitles for use for classes at schools and other educational institutions. The project is aimed at promoting this aspect of Japanese culture to a wider audience.

In addition, about 140 items, including scripts, original drawings and paper cutouts of characters by internationally acclaimed animation artist Noburo Ofuji, are shown at (http://animation.filmarchives.jp/index.html).