The 18-year-old became the first ever winner of a women's ski jumping World Cup last season, finishing 390 points clear at the top having won nine of the 13 scheduled rounds.
However, heading into the Nordic World Ski Championships in Italy, Hendrickson saw her chances of repeating the trick ended as Takanashi wrapped up this season’s title with two wins in Ljubno.
At 16, Takanashi became the youngest ever winner of an overall ski jumping World Cup title and was the red-hot favourite to win just the third women's World Championship title in Val di Fiemme.
However Hendrickson showed why she is not to be forgotten as she beat Takanashi by 2.7 points, with Jacqueline Seifriedsberger taking bronze, in a performance that left her overwhelmed.
"I can't put it into words, I am so happy," said Hendrickson. "Just having good jumps here and having the team run out and help me celebrate is priceless.
"Standing at the top was not easy and I was definitely really nervous, I felt that all the way down the run in.
"But that is something I have learnt from over the past few years and have been focusing on and I mastered that and it felt awesome."
Hendrickson leapt 106m for a points total of 127.4 in the first round, 3.3 ahead of Takanashi in second place who couldn't quite match the American's effort after a jump of 104.5m for 124.1.
With the order reversed as per usual for the second round, Takanashi had the chance the lay down a marker ahead of Hendrickson jumping last but it wasn't enough for her to stay in first place.
Takanashi jumped 103m to take her overall points total to 251.0 before Hendrickson produced an effort of 103m as well that gave her a winning margin of 2.7 with a score of 253.7.
Hendrickson becomes the third different woman to win world title since its inception in 2009 and second American after Lindsey Van, 16th in Val di Fiemme, won the inaugural crown in Liberec.
Austrian Seifriedsberger was the best of the rest in bronze medal position with a score of 237.2 with Coline Mattel of France fourth and Germany's Carina Vogt fifth.
© Sportsbeat 2013
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