Shirai Ryu are a clan of Japanese ninjas in the Mortal Kombat universe credited with bringing ninjutsu and other secret martial arts to Japan from China.
For many years, they have been fierce competitors with Lin Kuei, who while just emerged. They were eventually wiped out by the evil necromancer, Quan Chi, who destroyed the all clan members (Hanzo Hasashi, also known as Scorpion, who was previously murdered by the elderly Sub-Zero).
Shirai Ryu was founded many years ago by a Lin Kuei warrior named Takeda. He eventually got tired of Lin Kuei and left the clan. However, leaving the clan will be punished by the death penalty, while Takeda is pursued by Lin Kuei assassin. After he left China, he returned to his homeland in Japan, where he served the lords and generals. His art gradually spread in Japan and developed into the art of ninjutsu. In addition to teaching his new art form, he also teaches Lin Kuei's tactically modified version and reveals many of their secrets. When Takeda's teachings were widely known among fans in Japan, this further angered Lin Kuei. His followers are known as Shirai Ryu.
Shirai Ryu and Lin Kuei have become huge competitors. Takeda's family ridiculed Lin Kuei in a similar yellow dress and taught them a secret modified version. Although Takeda managed to avoid many of his assassination attempts in his later years, he was eventually killed by poison. I never knew if Lin Kuei was responsible for his death. As Shirai Ryu became more prominent, the hostility between Lin Kuei and Shirai Ryu continued to exist after his death.
After Shirai Ryu was transformed from a completely resurrected Hanzo Hasashi, the clan is now working to protect Earthrealm and help those victims by recruiting them into Shirai Ryu. Recently, when the grand masters of both clans, Hanzo Hasashi and Kuai Liang (Sub-Zero) met to discuss the history and relationship of their clan, the hostility between Shirai Ryu and Lin Kuei was peacefully resolved. When Sub-Zero revealed that only a few (corrupt) Lin Kuei participated in the first Shirai Ryu massacre, all hostility between the clans was eliminated because they secretly hired Quan Chi to destroy the team in exchange for their future service. Sektor formed an alliance with Quan Chi, because the first Shirai Ryu was destroyed and the attack began by igniting a fire in the territory. The two later named their crimes Bi-Han.
- While other factions have had a stage dedicated to them over the years, the Shirai Ryu didn't have a selectable stage belonging to them until Mortal Kombat 11 (the Shirai Ryu Fire Garden).