Very few women lived there at this time, so it was hard for these men to settle down and start a family.
They attempted to attract women living back East; the men wrote letters to churches and published personal advertisements in magazines and newspapers.
As immigration of unmarried Japanese women to America was effectively barred, the use of "picture brides" provided a mechanism for willing women to obtain a passport to America, while Japanese workers in America could gain a female helpmate of their own nationality.
Women in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and other Eastern European countries are common mail-order bride candidates.
In the twenty-first century, the trend is now based primarily on internet-based meeting places which do not per se qualify as mail-order bride services.Many women wanted to escape their present way of living, gain financial security and see what life on the frontier could offer them.Most of these women were single, but some were widows, divorcées or runaways.Many of these marriage agencies are based near women in developing countries (such as Ukraine, Russia, Colombia, Brazil, India, China, Thailand, and the Philippines).International marriage agencies encourage women to register for their services, and facilitate communication and meetings with men from developed regions of North America, Western Europe, South Korea, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.