Yep that's katakana. That's how it'd be written it in Japanese. They can look cool with the right font, because they're spiky
Just writing those words in kanji is possible, though, so as that's what you want:
) is 'spring'
) is 'ford' (well, shallow water, but it is used in the way we use 'ford' too)
) is 'percussion'
Taiko is 太鼓
Most fonts are vectors (TrueType fonts definitely are).